Anthony Martial in Manchester United training

Solskjaer: Why Martial is a vital cog

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer emphasised Anthony Martial’s importance to his Manchester United side ahead of our UEFA Europa League game against Partizan Belgrade.

Since the France forward returned from injury, he’s scored twice in three starts, including the winning penalty in the reverse fixture two weeks ago.

Ole, who has deployed our no.9 as a central striker when he’s been fit this season, praised the 23-year-old for his impact on the team, not only in games but also in training sessions.

The manager's update on injuriesVideo

“Anthony has been missed in training as well because when he’s in a good mood it affects other people,” Solskjaer told reporters at his pre-match press conference.

“This season he has been in a very good mood when he’s been with us and it was hard for him to be out.

“He was working hard, maybe too hard, early on - that’s what made him redo his injury. It’s good to have him back.”

Solskjaer believes that Martial is an essential part of our attacking line-up, complementing the other forward players, including Marcus Rashford.

“Anthony is a vital player for us,” Ole added.

Anthony Martial celebrates scoring against Norwich City
Martial has scored four goals in eight appearances so far in 2019/20.

“He has different attributes from Marcus, Dan [James], Jesse [Lingard], Mason [Greenwood].

“For us, he’s probably the one player that you can see hold the ball up more and you’ve got players making runs in behind.”

The boss also highlighted Rashford’s progress, with the Academy graduate registering eight goal involvements (five goals and three assists) from 11 Premier League games so far this season.

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford
Ole praised Martial and Rashford's link-up play.

“Marcus is still developing, you’ve got to remember he’s just 22 years of age.

“What he’s experienced in his career is fantastic, I hadn’t even made my debut for Molde at that age. We think he can reach the top.”

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