Anthony Martial’s season at Manchester United has been a frustrating one to date.
Martial has been unable to find any kind of consistency, and not entirely through fault of his own.
All top players need regular games to get into a rhythm and perform at their best. Martial is not getting this.
Likewise, it could be argued, Martial may not be doing enough to warrant regular inclusion.
Martial’s last display failed to earn another
Martial was given a vote of confidence by caretaker manager Michael Carrick against Villarreal.
Carrick selected him as a starter for the first time since United’s home drew with Everton, in which he scored.
Martial played 65 minutes in Spain before being substituted, and had very little impact on the game.
He had no shots at goal, created no chances, and won no aerial duels.
United needed more from Martial, especially with competition for places intense.
Martial was subsequently dropped from United’s starting line-up against Chelsea, and even more ominously – he was an unused substitute.
Two returning stars complicate matters
Every start Martial gets, he has to seize. His failure to do so against Villarreal could have already backfired.
Mason Greenwood is back after illness and made the bench at the weekend. He will be keen to be back involved after missing the Watford and Villarreal matches.
Edinson Cavani’s return complicates matters further for Martial, and it seems very unlikely he will be selected as a striker once the Uruguayan returns to action.
Martial looks to be competing for a spot on the left of attack, when United play with three forwards, and he will be battling it out with Marcus Rashford.
The forward could be back in United’s starting line-up against Arsenal on Thursday night – but after his snub for the draw with Chelsea, he will no doubt be worried about another prolonged spell on the sidelines.
The arrival of new interim boss Ralf Rangnick may provide another clean slate for Martial. At this stage of his United career, he may be running out of chances…
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