Louis van Gaal has revealed that Anthony Martial does not want to play on the right wing for Manchester United - but the veteran Dutch coach may try him out in that position nevertheless.
United fans are frustrated that Martial, arguably the Red Devils’ best attacking player this season, has been shunted out to the left wing in order to accommodate the team’s under-performing captain Wayne Rooney.
The France international doesn’t seem to mind playing on the left flank - the position he has also played for his national team - but Van Gaal admitted ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow that the teenager has little desire to play on the opposite wing.
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"He is very young but I think it is better he develops in the striker's position," Van Gaal was quoted as saying by BBC Sport in his pre-match press conference. "But he can play left, striker and number 10.
"He doesn't want to play number seven [wide right] but I am convinced he can. That's another story."
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Van Gaal must drop or move Rooney
This is the first time Van Gaal has admitted that Martial’s best position is at centre-forward, but it’s no secret that the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach likes his players to be capable of playing in a variety of roles.
Van Gaal is reluctant to drop Rooney, his captain and leader in the dressing room, despite the forward’s abject performances this season.
The 30-year-old produced arguably his worst display of the season so far in the 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
Martial has to play through middle
Martial looked lively at times on the left wing at Selhurst Park, but Manchester United fans appear to be in complete agreement that the teenager should have started the match through the middle.
Quizzed on Martial’s best position in his post-match press conference, Van Gaal admitted he was unsure as he and the coaching staff were discovering more about the player’s strengths and weaknesses.
But, several days on from that press conference, Van Gaal has admitted that it will be more beneficial for Martial to play as a central striker.
Manchester United fans: where should Wayne Rooney play so that Anthony Martial can play upfront? Should he be dropped? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!