Ole: Martial staying and ready to prove himself
Anthony Martial has the bit between his teeth and is determined to prove himself after a five-month absence through injury, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The French striker played his first 45 minutes since March in last week’s 4-0 friendly win against Everton.
With Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford unavailable for Saturday’s Premier League opener against Leeds United, Martial’s fitness could be crucial. Solskjaer says the no.9 is ready to show his quality after joining pre-season training a couple of weeks ago.
“He seems very happy to be back,” Solskjaer told MUTV on Friday lunchtime.
“He’s really showing in training his determination. He’s played 45 minutes against Everton and he needed the first 10-15 minutes to get going.
“It was always the plan to play him for 45 [minutes] and then now he’s ready for tomorrow.”
Solskjaer was also quick to pounce on any suggestion that Martial could leave the club, insisting he remains a key part of the squad with a big role to play this season.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if other teams targeted Anthony because he’s a very, very good player,” the boss said in Friday’s pre-match press conference.
“I’ve got no plans for him to play against us. He’s coming back strong and hungry with a determination to prove his fitness, and his quality.
“Last season was a disappointing one for him and you can see that little bit of grit between his teeth again. He’s up for the challenge, he’s a Man United player and we’re happy that we have him. He’s proven doubters wrong so many times.”
Martial will hopefully thrive with the return of fans to Old Trafford. Bruno Fernandes told us earlier this week that his favourite United chant is Martial's. We'll all be hoping to hear it belted out on Saturday.