Manchester United’s French winger Anthony Martial could reportedly be axed by manager Jose Mourinho as the Portuguese is looking for more out of his wide men
Indeed, Mourinho wishes United had a player more like Chelsea’s Brazilian international Willian.
Martial was signed for £59 million in September 2015 and was United’s star player last season, but already he seems out of sorts. He is out of the team and could be the latest wide man to fall victim to José Mourinho’s management style.
Martial has scored 14 goals since joining from Monaco. However, the 20-year-old has started this season slowly and was dropped for the Manchester derby defeat to City.
Former Chelsea striker Cascarino wrote in The Times,”The defeat by City exemplified Mourinho’s issue with wingers. He wants them to be runners, thinking as much — if not more — about tracking their full back as they do about attacking. If they have a decent crossing ability then that helps.”
He further wrote,”His future may depend on whether the fans side with their star or their manager. Marcus Rashford is another young player with a problem because he will not start ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the only other position that he could play would be out wide. That would be a complete waste. All fans like seeing young players, particularly locals lads, doing well. Failing to get the most out of Rashford and Martial could become a real issue for Mourinho.”
Indeed, Rashford is already a star player for United at the age of 18, and he is yet to start a game for United this season in the Premier League.
The future of Rashford is bright though, since he has a lot of time ahead of him and a lot of potential within him. Martial, however, could be another victim of Mourinho, just like Juan Mata went on to become while he was at Chelsea.
However, for now, Mourinho will have to think about the players he has at hand, and while Martial looks destined to be axed, it would be interesting to see as to how many chances Mourinho actually gives him to prove a point.
Apart from Mata, another winger he got rid of was Kevin de Bruyne, who has gone on to do wonders for Manchester City. Also, let’s not forget Victor Moses, who had been loaned out to three clubs during Mourinho’s tenure, and was clearly not interested in playing the Nigerian winger.
Mourinho prefers a winger who can take a lot of workload, in the sense he can cover up as a wing-back if necessary. That was what Willian did so well for Chelsea last season, which earned him plaudits. Even Eden Hazard, who is not known for his defending, got into a bitter spat with Mourinho with the Portuguese thinking that Hazard did not try hard enough to defend.
A player like Willian is what Manchester United and Mourinho are missing. Martial is quick and is a great attacker up front, but there are questions regarding how much he can cover up if United need an extra man at the back.
So if one thinks like Mourinho does, Martial certainly does not fit onto the team. On the other hand, there are few wingers like Willian who can take up that much workload.
At present, even Jesse Lingaard does not seem suitable, he did not have the best of matches in the derby and was duly substituted early.
Anthony Martial, who is a great talent, seems to be wasting his time under Mourinho.
Cascarino also wrote,”Martial needs freedom and licence to attack and not have to worry constantly about defending — he won’t get that under Mourinho and, given all his talent, I can’t see him being too willing to change his style.”
What Cascarino wrote makes sense, because it would only hamper Martial’s natural game if he tries to change his playing style to suit the team. Having said that, Cascarino also mentioned that his future may depend on whether the fans side with their star or their manager.
Given Mourinho’s reputation, Martial could well be on his way to some other club, who would give him freedom to play, come the next transfer window.
As for Mourinho, who is never shy of spending big, he may want to splurge on a certain Brazilian winger who currently plies his trade for their rivals from London.