Rio Ferdinand reveals what the Man Utd players tell him about Anthony Martial

  • Kobe Tong
Celta Vigo v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League - Semi Final: First leg

Anthony Martial has flown out of the blocks at Manchester United this season but it hasn't been all plain sailing for the Frenchman.

Having ploughed through a season of consolidation under Jose Mourinho last year, Martial is beginning to draw upon the form that excited so many supporters during his first term at Old Trafford.

The 21-year-old already boasts eight goals and four assists for club and country in 2017-18, despite only making four Premier League starts and suffering a shock exclusion from the first France squad.

For all of his storming performance's this season, Martial has been forced to rotate with Marcus Rashford who has been in equally impressive form and Mourinho remains reluctant to play them both.

In fact, the Special One has only opted to start them together once this season - against Newcastle - and he wasn't exactly blown away by the idea.

Mourinho explained: "They both like to play in the same position and that is difficult. They both prefer to play on the left than the right.

"Both playing with another striker through the middle, we lose a point of contact with the midfield that we are used to, with the player playing behind the striker."

In this week's round of Champions League fixtures, though, it was Martial who got the nod and Rio Ferdinand was very pleased to see his inclusion.

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Working as a pundit with BT Sport, the Manchester United legend spilled some intel on Martial that he had picked up from his regular visits to Carrington and chats with the squad.

Not only will it serve to excite supporters but suggest that his sporadic first team appearances really are criminal.

Ferdinand revealed: "I've been up there a few times, spoken to a few lads in the squad and every single one of them says the same thing: 'he could be whatever he wants to be. In terms of talent, he can rival anyone on the planet.'"

Gary Lineker then probed: "Attitude - what do they say about that?"

"I think it's about feeling the love. He needs an arm round him, he needs a real soft arm around his shoulder with a bit of cotton wool to make him feel like the man," Ferdinand replied.

And that's pretty much the moral of the story. Ever since United brought in Martial in 2014, there's been little doubting his talent but whether his head has been in right place is another debate.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League

If Martial can grab the first-team opportunities he is afforded, then the gut feelings of his teammates could soon become reality.

Do you think Anthony Martial deserves to start for Man Utd? Have your say in the comments section below.

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