Will Anthony Martial ever fulfil his immense potential?
Manchester United’s No. 11 has produced some wonderful moments of individual brilliance since making his debut for the club back in September 2015.
Very few people in England had even heard of the French youngster when United secured his services from AS Monaco in a deal worth an initial £36 million - and potentially rising to £58 million - but he proved himself on day one by scoring a memorable solo goal against Liverpool.
However, Martial has blown hot and cold over the following four years, impressing one week and then flattering to deceive the next.
The 23-year-old was left out of France’s 2018 World Cup squad last summer after failing to convince Didier Deschamps and that, many people expected, would be the wake-up call that he needed to knuckle down and become more consistent.
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Martial’s club form picked up when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho as manager in December.
A month later, he put pen-to-paper on a new long-term contract with the Red Devils, worth £250,000 a week and keeping him tied to Old Trafford until June 2024.
But his form has tailed off again of late - and a video posted on social media from the warm-up of Sunday’s Premier League clash against Chelsea suggests this may be because of a lack of effort on his part.
Martial was seen standing still with the ball at his feet for well over 30 seconds, while his teammates all prepared themselves for the match.
The French winger had been named among the substitutes and this sparked speculation that, as a result, he was sulking in the warm-up.
It seems Solskjaer shared the same opinion.
Per the Daily Mail, the Norwegian coach turned on Martial in the dressing room following United’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea and blasted him in front of his teammates.
Martial had complained of a bad back but Solskjaer was unhappy with the Frenchman’s ‘blatant lack of effort’ and made it clear that his attitude was unacceptable.
This explains Solskjaer’s decision to leave Martial on the bench, sending the hapless Alexis Sanchez on for Marcus Rashford in the 65th minute instead.
Old Trafford officials are understood to be concerned over Martial’s attitude since signing his new five-year contract at the start of the year, following a string of lacklustre performances.
Solskjaer’s dressing down of Martial in the changing room took some of the focus away from David de Gea, whose latest error cost United two precious points in the race for the top four.
United take on Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City in their two remaining Premier League fixtures - and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Martial has already played his final minutes for the club this season.News Now - Sport News