Anthony Martial should consider leaving Manchester United to resurrect his career, according to Liverpool legend John Barnes.
Martial has struggled to establish himself as a regular starter under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this term. Much of the credit goes to Edinson Cavani, who has soaked up the limelight as Manchester United’s first-choice center-forward. The Uruguayan has grown increasingly valuable to the Old Trafford outfit since joining the club as a free agent on a deadline day last summer.
Although he was initially planned to be a back-up option, Cavani has convinced Solskjaer to play him more regularly than expected. His integration into United’s starting XI came at the expense of Martial. Before picking up an ankle injury, the former Paris Saint-Germain star was above his younger teammate in the pecking order.
Meanwhile, Solskjaer has shoehorned natural-born winger Martial into a makeshift central forward, limiting the Frenchman’s impact in the process. The 25-year-old joined United from Monaco in 2015 after tearing apart defenses in Ligue 1 from wide positions. However, he has spent the majority of his career in the Premier League playing in the heart of the Red Devils attack.
Cavani’s injury did no good to Martial, as Solskjaer continued to bench him, week in, week out. In United’s goalless draw with Chelsea last weekend, Solskjaer opted for Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, and Daniel James to lead the line, leaving the French forward on the bench. Often deployed out of position or forced to make late appearances, the name of Martial has started to fade in the English press.
Anthony Martial's failure to respond to touchline orders shows why Manchester United want a new striker https://t.co/WUq1oADU9X— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) February 22, 2021
The Frenchman needs regular first-team action to secure his place in Didier Deschamp’s Euro squad. However, with the opportunities coming by sporadically, Martial may have to consider leaving the Theatre of Dreams for a more consistent game-time. John Barnes is of the opinion the Massy native has to seek new challenges elsewhere to rejuvenate his career.
“Anthony Martial has never been a center-forward, despite Manchester United playing him there,” Barnes told BonusCodeBets.
“If he can’t get a place in the starting team in his preferred wide position, following the emergence of Mason Greenwood, then maybe it is time for him to leave Manchester United.
“Lots of clubs nowadays have benches full of superstar players, who are happy to be there.
“But I don’t know if Martial is one of those players or what Manchester United’s intentions are with him.
“I would suggest a change could be good for both him and the club if they aren’t getting what they want from him playing there.”