Manchester United star Anthony Martial has just enjoyed the best season of his career.
The Frenchman struck 22 goals in total, with 17 of them coming in the Premier League.
His tally could have been a lot higher had he not missed a penalty against Norwich in October and then secured spot kick duty on a more permanent basis.
Martial’s numbers would also have been higher if he had not suffered a thigh injury early into the season which ruled him out for almost two months.
He ended the season strongly, becoming the first Manchester United player to score a hat-trick since 2013 with a well taken treble against Sheffield United.
Martial’s performances have not gone unnoticed. Statistically they are among the very best in the Premier League.
Opta powered website WhoScored.com have named Martial in their statistical best XI of the 2019/20 season up front with Harry Kane.
Both Jamie Vardy and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were omitted to make way for Martial, despite averaging a lower minutes per goal rate.
Martial’s inclusion is recognition of the strength of his all round game. As a complete striker he is really kicking on.
He demonstrated this with a smart run to win a penalty in the decisive final game against Leicester, and clever hold up and link up play to create goals for teammates Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood in matches against Southampton and West Ham.
Martial scored 26 per cent of United’s Premier League goals, and added to that figure with six assists, just one fewer than Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes.
The Frenchman recorded 1.6 successful dribbles per game, the third highest in United’s squad behind Rashford and Paul Pogba.
He possesses the kind of explosive pace which can just help him gain a yard and quickly accelerate ahead of defenders to get a crucial edge.
When he is playing with the sort of confidence he has been, Martial is a difficult opponent to face, and his hard work off the ball causes mistakes, like the goal he scored away at Bruges.
Martial has been waiting to be trusted as a centre-forward and he has made the most of his chance.
To see him recognised as the league’s best here is a major vindication of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to back him, and his ability.
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