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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Manchester United star Anthony Martial has one final critic left to silence

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It seemed unthinkable that Anthony Martial would remain at Old Trafford when boarding his seat to jet home from Seville last season. Cast aside by two managers, the Manchester United striker failed to hit the net in nine La Liga games and Sevilla drastically slipped away from title contention when he was there. Needless to say, Martial was not the only man to blame as Real Madrid, ultimately, coasted to more silverware. But, with a new era on the horizon for United with Erik ten Hag brought in, Cristiano Ronaldo was seemingly first choice at that stage as the club set their sights on attacking recruits. However, the tables quickly turned and Martial – who has suffered three separate injuries this campaign – has been among the biggest winners under Ten Hag, even though those setbacks have restricted him to only seven games as things stand. Crucially, though, whenever fit and available he has played. READ MORE: United stance on Iqbal future After failing to get the best from Martial last season, Sevilla quickly distanced themselves from a permanent move and his options were, seemingly, limited. However, in came Ten Hag and Martial shone brighter than anyone during pre-season, while he has netted four goals in seven encouraging appearances this term. He has no better incentive than to add to that tally against Wolves at the end of this month. United visit Molineux on New Year’s Eve (12.30pm) and that Premier League match offers up an interesting subplot for rejuvenated Martial. Indeed, the Midlands outfit are now managed by the coach who signed him for Sevilla, Julen Lopetegui, and he did not hold back when criticising Martial last season. After demanding more from the player on debut, the 56-year-old later sided with supporters when they jeered Martial for his displays. Lopetegui said: “Anthony has to give us much more. It was his first game and adaptation is not easy. He has played little this year and he has to get into dynamics and gain minutes and confidence.” He added: “This is elite football and people are free and they can express themselves as they feel. As a coach, I have to help him to achieve his best version but he’s also a professional and has to do his part and adapt to what we ask from him.” While the Spaniard did not exactly throw Martial under the bus, his comments were a far cry from media-guarded offerings typically fronted up by managers. Either way, the 26-year-old will not have to listen carefully to Ten Hag for extra motivation to prove his worth later this month. MORE TO READ: The latest Manchester United news United have rediscovered best forward line Eriksen has given Ten Hag another challenge Casemiro gives reasons for United switch What is De Gea doing on training ground? Story SavedYou can find this story in  My Bookmarks.Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right.

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