Mourinho Martial

Martial left on the bench in Manchester United’s opening win

Anthony Martial was a spectator on the bench as Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw fired Manchester United to victory in the opening game of the new Premier League season. The French international’s future at Old Trafford is uncertain and being an unused substitute certainly won’t help matters.

Supporters are desperate to see Martial realise his potential at United, but he can’t even get on the pitch to prove his worth. Last season, the 22-year-old managed only five 90-minute appearances in the Premier League and was substituted in 72% of the games he started in.

Mourinho tried to play down the significance of Martial being an unused substitute for the fourth time in United’s last nine league outings, saying: “I want to play Martial, but I can’t. Paul Pogba can’t play 90 (minutes), Fred the same. I need more changes.”

Relationship sour with Mourinho

Martial doesn’t appear to have a healthy relationship with his manager, and things spiralled out of control last season. The French forward took criticism from Mourinho for his form compared to Romelu Lukaku, and saw United being linked to players who would operate in his position if signed – Willian (Chelsea) and Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan) most notably.

During pre-season, he angered Mourinho by failing to report to training for a week to attend the birth of his child, saying “family comes first”. The United manager could have fined him for the breach of discipline and it’s unlikely to have helped tensions between the two.

The last 12 months will do little for Martial’s confidence, with Mourinho actively seeking his replacement in the transfer market and having fallen out over him going AWOL this summer. It could be his last season at Old Trafford unless something changes.

The 22-year-old was named Golden Boy and was a regular in the French national team after a dream debut season at United, but he failed to make the squad that won the 2018 World Cup and finds his career at a crossroads.

Second fiddle despite Alexis continuing to struggle

The biggest insult to Martial is the face Alexis Sanchez continues to start ahead of him despite his woeful form. In United’s opening game against Leicester, the Chilean completed only 65% of his passes, was caught offside more than any of his teammates and failed to make a successful dribble in 90 minutes.

Mourinho may say Martial didn’t come on due to the need to give Fred and Pogba a rest, but this isn’t an isolate incident. It was happening all last season. Martial will be at Old Trafford until at least January, but his future is blurry beyond that.

Mourinho Martial

Is Martial on his way out of Manchester United?

Anthony Martial’s Manchester United future is up in the air again after the French international drew criticism from manager Jose Mourinho after leaving the pre-season camp to witness the birth of his child. Mourinho was expecting Martial to return after the birth, but the former Monaco forward has so far avoided coming back.

The United boss wasn’t pleased, recently telling the media: “Anthony Martial has the baby and after the baby is born – beautiful baby, full of health, thank God – he should be here and he is not here.”

The pair haven’t been on the same page ever since Mourinho replace Louis van Gaal as manager and it could mean Martial departs Old Trafford before the summer transfer window shuts. United won’t want to lose the attacker without replacing him, but reports suggest they are actively pushing him out the door before the new season starts.

Mourinho and Martial still aren’t seeing eye to eye

Mourinho and Martial haven’t had a good relationship from the off. In the former’s debut season, the latter made only 18 Premier League starts and was either substituted on or substituted off in 18 on his 25 appearances. The following campaign was hardly any better, with Martial making just 18 league starts once more and only playing a full 90 minutes in five of his 30 appearances.

He has been called out on a number of occasions by Mourinho to perform better if he wants to regularly feature in the first-team, but it’s hard to see the pair working together for another campaign. Supporters will be distraught to see the 22-year-old leave the club, but it’s clear he isn’t happy. It’s also clear that United have identified his replacement and have made enquiries.

Mourinho targeting Willian as a potential replacement

The Red Devils have been linked with a Willian-Martial swap deal this summer, with Mourinho being a big fan of Chelsea’s Brazilian international that he managed in his second stint at Stamford Bridge. The proposed deal raises a lot of questions, as Willian is seven years Martial’s senior and may have already peaked in his career.

According to Paris United, Paris Saint-Germain were informed they could sign Martial for £70m. Despite possessing explosive pace, being able to beat his opponent with ease and having a fantastic eye for goal, Martial has struggled for consistency under Mourinho. The relationship between the pair doesn’t appear healthy and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they parted company this summer as a result.