Manchester United striker Anthony Martial was absent from the match day squad for the weekend clash with Crystal Palace.

After making his latest return from injury in midweek against Nottingham Forest, and scoring, there were hopes he could finally put his fitness struggles behind him.

Unfortunately Martial’s path to fitness is just a constant battle. Usually when he gets fit, it’s not long until he suffers a setback.

After missing the World Cup, mainly through fitness issues, Martial has returned and been as unreliable as ever before.

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Manchester United v Nottingham Forest - Carabao Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Anthony Martial’s poor fitness record

This season Martial has started only six out of 20 Premier League games. In the Europa League he started only two matches.

What makes Martial so frustrating is his productivity on the pitch has been so good. In his limited game time, Martial has six goals and two assists this season. You can only wonder what he might be capable of if he could stay fit.

Last season at Sevilla his loan spell was wrecked by three separate injuries. This season for United has been a continuation of that.

Last time Anthony Martial completed 90 minutes for Manchester United

Anthony Martial has not completed 90 minutes for Manchester United all season. Erik ten Hag is understandably wary of pushing him, and has substituted him early, to try and protect him.

Sometimes he did not have a choice. Martial was forced off at half-time against City and after just 26 minutes against Everton.

The longest game he completed this season was 81 minutes in United’s win over Wolves on December 31.

To find the last time Anthony Martial completed 90 minutes for Manchester United, you have to go all the way back to 2021.

This was the September 2021 Carabao Cup third round match at Old Trafford which United lost 1-0 to West Ham.

Martial completed 90 minutes once for Sevilla – actually 102 minutes in their Europa League defeat (also against West Ham), but could not make it through the entire 120 minutes of extra time.

Last time Anthony Martial completed 90 minutes in the Premier League

To find the last time Anthony Martial completed 90 minutes for Manchester United in the Premier League, you have to dig even deeper.

This was the January 2021 home defeat to Sheffield United, a game Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side lost 2-1.

This makes it more than two years since Martial has played 90 minutes. Wout Weghorst did so just two weeks ago.

The issue with Martial has rarely been about talent. He seems to be applying himself well and working hard under Erik ten Hag, but his fitness is a serious issue, and the reason Manchester United need to sign a new long-term striker.

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