Manchester United welcomed Anthony Martial back into the starting XI at the weekend after a long spell out.
Anthony Martial has an odd record where he has not played 90 minutes for Manchester United since 2021.
He played 60 minutes against Nottingham Forest at the weekend, which was a step in the right direction.
Just getting him onto the pitch was progress. In terms of actual performance, Martial did not offer much to be positive about.
Verdict on Anthony Martial
Former Manchester United academy forward Fraizer Campbell was on punditry duty for MUTV for the win over Forest and he was asked for an assessment on Anthony Martial’s display.
Campbell offered a lukewarm response, and tried to be optimistic about the Frenchman’s first start of the season.
He said: “I don’t think he did anything wrong. He was involved in the attacking plays and things like that. He obviously didn’t get a get a goal but I thought he did OK.
MORE UNITED STORIES
“He plays that role better than others on the pitch as none of them are a natural number nine.
“It’s good to see him out there on the pitch, we just need to see him do his good things more often.”
Martial completed 13 of 15 passes attempted, creating one chance, and had one shot at goal which was blocked.
Two positives from Martial display
One of the biggest positives from Martial’s performance was that he came through it without suffering a new injury or re-aggravating an old one.
The other, is that simply by being present as a central striker, Marcus Rashford moved out to his preferred left wing position.
This led to Rashford providing the assist for Christian Eriksen to score United’s first, and win the penalty for the winning goal.
Rashford had been stifled in the centre for the first two games. Just as Wout Weghorst last season managed to keep Rashford on the left, by filling the hole in the centre, Martial did the same on Saturday.
Hopefully next weekend United will have Rasmus Hojlund available to lead the line, and start adding goals from the centre-forward spot.