Has there been a bigger resurgence this season than that shown by Anthony Martial at Manchester United?
The Frenchman’s future looked misty when he lost his place in the starting line-up last season, his on-pitch woes compounded by personal problems, but there’s no way Jose Mourinho can ignore him now.
Martial has scored three Premier League goals, an impressive return considering he’s made just one start, and added to his tally in Man United’s Carabao Cup win over Burton Albion on Wednesday.
The arrival of Romelu Lukaku in the summer, plus the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and continued rise of Marcus Rashford, appeared to leave Martial in a tricky position.
Indeed, former Man United defender Paul Parker advised Martial to leave Old Trafford in August.
"When you look at him as a player he really doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself," Parker said, per the Mirror.
“He needs a change, to get a smile on his face and enjoy his job."
It’s true that Martial seemingly struggles to express his enjoyment - Phil Jones was seen telling him to smile after he scored against West Ham last month - but it seems as if he plays with a chip on his shoulder, and that’s not always a terrible thing.
Man United fans are laughing at the Mirror
Following last night’s display, Man United fans were quick to troll the Mirror over a headline they used for a story about Martial in 2015.
‘What a waste of money,’ the headline read after Martial joined in a £36 million - potentially rising to £58m - move from AS Monaco.
The Mirror’s story came after an independent transfer review claimed Martial’s actual value was £11.6m, meaning the Red Devils paid three times over the odds for the winger.
It was premature to brand Martial a ‘waste of money’ and Man United fans are now laughing at the national newspaper on Twitter.
Check out the best tweets below.
It remains to be seen whether Martial’s performances will result in a spot in the starting line-up for Saturday’s trip to Southampton but he’s at least earned some recognition from his manager.
“Anthony Martial wanted to do things – some he did amazingly well, others not so well, but he was always trying and that commitment and happiness on the pitch is always important,” Mourinho said after the win, per United’s website.
Martial certainly isn’t making it easy for Mourinho to leave him out.