Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has pinpointed the key changes that striker Anthony Martial has made this season in his training regime that has helped to fire the club to third in the Premier League, and now in the final stages of the UEFA Europa League, in which United will face FC Copenhagen in the quarter-final stage in Cologne on Monday evening. Martial has spend five years at the club, signing as a 19-year-old from AS Monaco on deadline day in September 2015.
In his first season at the club, Martial scored 17 goals and 10 assists in all competitions, scoring one goal and one assist for his former club before his move to United transpired. It was his best ever season at United but this season, the Frenchman seems to have topped that and has so far scored 23 goals and 11 assists in all competitions, helping bring out the best of Marcus Rashford (22 goals and 10 assists) and Mason Greenwood (17 goals and five assists). The player seems to be loving it at United right now, which is clear to see as he is all smiles.
The 24-year-old is clearly onto some great things at the club and as he seems to be enjoying himself under Solskjaer, which seemed completely different under the management of Jose Mourinho with the player never smiling and always looking unhappy and not reaching his potential despite the fact the talent was always there. You cannot blame the player, looking back with hindsight. Martial is in the zone and ready to fire United to the top, which is a great sign once again.
Martial started the season with his number nine shirt, the shirt he started his career at the club with, which was given to Zlatan Ibrahimovic on his arrival at the club a year later. Martial was unhappy with that and despite being a silly excuse, could have contributed to his lack of form and more importantly the rift with Mourinho – because there was one. Solskjaer though, full of positivity and praise for the Frenchman, feels that the tweaks to his training regime have put the player in the zone this season, seeing him fire his way to being the clubs top scorer this season. Solskjaer, as reported by The Mirror, said:
“Antony [Martial] has made huge strides this season in many aspects of his game.
“He’s worked hard in the gym, and on his fitness, so physically he’s at the best level he’s been at in his career – there’s more to come from him.”
United will be fired up to face Copenhagen on Monday evening in Cologne in the quarter-final of the Europa League, seeking to obtain a place in the semi-final of the competition, which could be against either Wolverhampton Wanderers (a fifth match against the side this season) or Spanish side Sevilla, who won the competition three times in a row from the 2013/14 season to the 2015/16 season. United won it in the 2016/17 season with Atletico Madrid in the 2017/18 season followed by Chelsea in the 2018/19 season. Solskjaer concluded by saying:
“They’re starting to open up low defences now, with the signing of Bruno Fernandes, with the cutting inside from the right of Mason Greenwood, and obviously the speed of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.
“So it’s going very much in the right direction and after the coronavirus break they have been very good.”
Written by John Walker