Anthony Martial is desperately needed back at Manchester United to help a side that needs to hit the ground running after the international break.
After the departure of Romelu Lukaku, United’s new number nine looked at his clinical best in the opening two games against Chelsea and Wolves playing as a lone striker. His subsequent injury has had a massive impact on the attacking threat United pose.
Martial has scored 36 goals in 116 league games for United, playing both through the middle and from the left. In all competitions he has 50.
The return of Martial is much-needed, but United’s medical team cannot risk any reoccurrence of him sustaining another muscle injury, if that means Solskjaer has to be cautious with the game time he gives to Martial so be it.
United can ill-afford another period with Martial being out of action, we simply don’t have the squad to deal with the absences of key players.
Marcus Rashford has been playing upfront with Martial being on the side-lines, and if United fans thought that Martial had the ability to sulk, Rashford has taken the negative body language to new dizzy lows in recent weeks.
In his three appearances so far this season, Martial has scored two goals and assisted once, but he gives United a completely different attacking outlet with his pace, composure in front of goal and lightening fast feet, which makes him a nightmare for opposing defenders when he starts dribbling.
So far this season, Martial is averaging 2.7 shots, 0.7 key passes and three dribbles per game.
Premier Injuries report Martial is rated at 50 per cent to make the Liverpool game.
How does he help the players around him?
The return of Martial should benefit Rashford, and it could see Solskjaer pick the pair and Daniel James in a front three, which should be fitness pending the go to attacking combination, with Mason Greenwood coming off the bench and getting regular valuable action.
Rashford had an afternoon to forget at Newcastle, where he didn’t have one shot on goal. Yes, he was playing in a side that lacked any creative inspiration, but the special players find a way of influencing proceedings.
A constant theme in Martial’s absence has been James’ ability to still beat the opposing full-back, but lacking a striker willing to get on the end of his cutback and crosses.
Martial’s two goals this season so far were classic clinical first time finishes, which highlighted the impressive movement he possesses and desire to get ahead of defenders at the near post.
The 23-year-old is also better than Rashford with his back to goal and having the vision and awareness to bring his team mates into play with clever lay offs and quick interplay.
The potential return of United’s talisman can give the club the boost it very much needs, starting with the clash against Liverpool, the fixture in which Martial first announced himself to the United faithful in style.
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