Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has been discussing much-maligned striker Anthony Martial.

Anthony Martial is expected to lose his place as a starter for Manchester United when the Premier League returns, with new signing Rasmus Hojlund making a big impression as a substitute in the last game.

Competition for places has not traditionally brought the best out of Martial, and he could just fade into the background if Hojlund hits it off.

This of course would be a shame considering Martial’s talent, which Rio Ferdinand claims wowed Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff.

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Anthony Martial discussed by Rio Ferdinand

Anthony Martial is in the final year of his Manchester United contract, and while the club has the option to extend it to 2025, there appears little reason to do so, currently.

Martial signed for United in 2015 and has scored 88 goals for the club, only surpassing the 20-goal barrier in a season, once.

His situation was discussed by Rio Ferdinand on Five, who said he has inside knowledge that Erik ten Hag‘s coaching staff were bowled over by Martial in summer of 2022, when they arrived.

Ferdinand explained: “I know for a fact, when the new coaching staff went into the ground and saw Anthony Martial training up close and personal, they were like, ‘I see why every manager sees him and rubs their hands together’, because the kid’s ability is world class. But he can’t put it together.”

This may have played a part in Ten Hag’s focus on Martial last pre-season, where he played a key role, before getting injured and derailing the club’s start to the season, also impacted by Cristiano Ronaldo pushing for an exit.

It was, a pretty naive error from Ten Hag, repeating the mistakes of others. At the very least, a back-up for Martial should have been signed. Relying on his fitness was asking for trouble.

Anthony Martial frustrates

Rio Ferdinand added that he does understand the frustration surrounding Anthony Martial’s inconsistency.

He said: “Martial has got to deliver consistently, not here and there. It’s what Man United number nines do, look at the history of the best ones. They don’t have days off.

“That’s the problem with Martial. Fitness or form, he falls off. It’s disappointing in that sense, that’s the frustrating thing because he does have crazy ability.”

Martial’s two starts this season have been flat. Rasmus Hojlund is the more exciting player United fans now want to see, and he is one who was signed by this current coaching staff.

After his injury-hit last season, there was no way United could rely on Martial this year. He may have the talent, but time is running out for him to prove he deserves to stay beyond this season.

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