Gary Neville explains why Anthony Martial is far from world-class


Anthony Martial can’t be accused of failing to take his chances in a season of sporadic involvement.

The Manchester United striker came off the bench midway through the second half against Tottenham on Saturday to snatch a dramatic winner in the 81st minute at Old Trafford.

The substitute cameo was his ninth Premier League appearance for the campaign, only three of which have been starts.

Despite Martial recording six goals and four assists in all competitions, it’s no secret Jose Mourinho considers him to be most effective as an impact player.

The 21-year-old has been entrusted to play a full 90 minutes just once so far this term in a 4-1 League Cup victory over Burton Albion.

While Martial might an ideal player to have in reserve to capitalise on fatigue in the late stages of a match, one gets the feeling he has so much more to offer.

The United faithful are unlikely to be satisfied with what the ex-Monaco starlet has contributed since his £36 million switch in September 2015.

Gary Neville is certainly among those who believe Martial is yet to reach his full potential, citing an attitude problem as the cause of his stalling development.

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

"It's been a stop-start Manchester United career for Martial," the Old Trafford legend told The Gary Neville Podcast, per FourFourTwo.

"For someone of his talent, he should be tearing this league apart with his ability. He's lost his place in the France squad. There's obviously something wrong with him.

"Mourinho and the French manager has turned off of him a little bit. You always get the feeling he's playing at 85 per cent. If he showed that extra 15 per cent, then he could do anything. He's got everything you'd want: composure in front of goal, great skill, pace, strength, but what is that little bit missing?"


Neville even reckons the only thing holding back Martial from being one of the best players in the world is himself.

"The best players in the world don't have 'buts' – the likes of Luiz Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi – there are no buts. Martial is well off that category but that's where he's got to be looking. He's worth £50million and with that talent, he's got to step up.

"He scores in big games, he takes big moments on and obviously has the temperament to play in big games. But come on, let's see it every single week.

"He could be a player that could score 20 goals in 20 games if he really wanted to and strived to be the best.”

There was a period when Martial was widely acknowledged as a candidate to succeed Messi and Ronaldo at the top.

Clearly, some believe his chance is not yet gone and, with time on his side, the striker could well reignite his career.

Does Martial have the ability to become one of the best players on the planet? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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