What might Anthony Martial's potential return mean for United's attack?
Manchester United are preparing to welcome back Anthony Martial for Monday’s match against Arsenal, The Evening Standard report.
Martial has been missing for a month with a thigh injury and his return is long overdue. Premier Injuries also list his expected return date as the upcoming fixture.
The attack is in different shape to when Martial went out, with Mason Greenwood stepping up over the past week, while Marcus Rashford is now out with a groin injury.
If Martial is judged to be 100 per cent, he should go straight back into United’s side for the Premier League clash. This is a must win game.
How does he fit in?
There are two positions Martial can play in United’s system, a central striker or wide left.
Martial’s favoured position is up front and with Dan James excelling on the left, there is no reason to stick him out wide.
This would most likely mean Mason Greenwood moving back out to the right, the position he started in against Astana.
Many would say this might actually be United’s strongest front three, James – Martial – Greenwood.
All three are direct, have an eye for goal, and fit United’s desired style of play.
The game against Arsenal is an important one, and while it is a new combination, the trio are United’s three best available attackers and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should look to fit them all in.
Bad news for Rashford
Marcus Rashford entered the season hoping to establish himself as Manchester United’s first choice striker. He might be able to still, but his form has not been good.
Now he is out injured for the Arsenal game which pushes Martial back into the spotlight if he is passed fit.
With James, Martial and Greenwood potentially starting against the Gunners, the trio have a chance to all keep their places, and establish themselves as United’s best attacking trident.
There is a very real possibility that Rashford is not part of United’s best front three even when he is fit. And that’s credit to the progress James and Greenwood have made.
Martial now has to do his bit and show he deserves to lead the attack. It’s the healthy competition this squad needs.
Greenwood may be United’s first choice striker by time the season is done, but with no right winger in the team, it makes sense to play him there and then one of Rashford or Martial leading the line for the time being.
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