Roy Keane believes Anthony Martial is “not quite good enough” to lead the line for Manchester United after the Frenchman fluffed his lines against Liverpool on Sunday.
With the match delicately poised midway through the second half at Anfield, Martial slalomed his way into the box before blazing high and wide as the Reds went on to clinch an impressive 2-0 victory. Keane said during Sky Sports’ coverage that the missed chance “summed him up,” although others have pointed out that it was a chance he created pretty much through his own dribbling ability alone.
How effective has Martial been as Man Utd’s centre-forward? Five things to know…
- Since Romelu Lukaku left last summer, Martial has gone full-time as Man Utd’s centre-forward.
- He has spent 1,401 minutes in this position in the Premier League this season, according to smarterscout.
- The data analytics tool rates him at 26 out of 99 for ‘attacking output’ there in 2019/20…
- …compared to the 89 he scored last season at left-wing over 1,429 minutes.
- But in terms of goalscoring this season, Martial is arguably in the form of his career; he has 11 goals in 24 appearances across all competitions.
With Marcus Rashford set to miss at least two months of first-team action with a double stress fracture in his back, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be relying on Martial to chip in with more goals, but Keane has his doubts.
During his Sky Sports appearance Keane said, “Anthony Martial has come to Manchester United and the big strikers score in the big moments, but his miss sums up his career at the club – excellent build-up play, but you have to hit the target. No excuses.
“The big strikers who are remembered by the supporters hit the target and the back of the net, and that’s why that guy (Martial) is not quite good enough for Manchester United. That moment summed him up.”
Martial is actually just one shy of his 12-goal tally of last season and, despite failing to score in either of January’s cup games, has four goals in his last five Premier League appearances.
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“There comes a point where you say ‘enough is enough’,” says Neville
Another former Man Utd player, Gary Neville, was equally unimpressed with Martial’s skied attempt at Anfield, and he believes the club must now set a deadline on the Frenchman’s future at Old Trafford.
“I think we’re in a situation with Martial whereby you are frightened to death to let him go because of what he might become,” Neville told Sky Sports.
Frustration for @GNev2! 😡
It's fair to say that Gary Neville wasn't too impressed after Anthony Martial spurned a glorious chance to draw Manchester United level at Anfield! 🤣 pic.twitter.com/SHFApJVOtt
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 19, 2020
“I think, shall I put a time-frame on him? I think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is somebody who is as much in the job where ‘I’ll give him a chance, I’ll play him in his best position, I’ll give him a year of football’ and if at the end of that year he has delivered, you know where you stand.
“If he hasn’t, there comes a point where you say ‘enough is enough’, he’s had his chances. He’s scored quite a few goals along with Rashford.”
United are currently fifth in the league, but they trail fourth-place Chelsea by five points. They next face Burnley on Wednesday night.