Man Utd: £250k-a-week star has been 'phenomenal' behind-the-scenes

Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has been “absolutely phenomenal” so far during Erik ten Hag’s first pre-season at the club, according to freelance journalist Jacque Talbot.

The 26-year-old joined United as a teenager in 2015 for £36m, making him the most expensive teenager on the planet at that time.

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What’s the latest on Martial?

It had widely been assumed that Martial’s career at Old Trafford was over, after the forward was shipped out on loan to Sevilla in January this year, spending the second-half of last season at the La Liga club.

However, the 30-time France international has now returned to Manchester, and even scored in ten Hag’s first pre-season friendly, in a 4-0 victory over Liverpool in Bangkok.

With a new manager in charge at the Old Trafford dugout this season, Martial might feel that he has earned a respite at the Premier League club, and the Frenchman could be a genuine forward option for ten Hag, if the former Monaco man impresses the Dutchman this pre-season.

And Talbot believes that whilst there are rumours that Martial is having an excellent pre-season, it is right to be cautious that this could potentially be a false dawn.

What has Talbot said about Martial?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “There are rumblings from Manchester United that Martial has been absolutely phenomenal under ten Hag since he’s come in.

“It’s such a short space of time.

“I don’t know how much credence you can put on that because you do see plenty of players have these amazing pre-seasons.”

What next for Martial?

If Martial continues to impress in pre-season, then ten Hag might believe that he can save the club some money by utilising the Frenchman in both the Premier League and Europa League next season.

The £250k-per-week star has made 269 appearances during his time in Manchester, scoring 79 goals and providing 50 assists in that time according to Transfermarkt, showing that despite his inconsistent form, his goal involvements prove that he could still add something to this United attack.

Martial is not afraid of getting himself into the opposition’s penalty area, and this is shown by the fact that he ranked in the top 17% of attacking midfielders/wingers across Europe’s top five leagues and European competition last season for touches in the attacking penalty area per 90 minutes (5.52), according to FBref.

But an average SofaScore rating of 6.51 for his Sevilla performances in La Liga last season suggest that he was below par during his time in Spain, and will need to step up another few gears if he’s going to salvage his Premier League career.

Martial can only perform to his highest standard in pre-season, and then give ten Hag a decision to make over his future, and it might be in the interests of both player and club for the Frenchman to stay and progress his career at Manchester United, whilst also giving the new head coach another option in his forward line.

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