Anthony Martial burst onto the Premier League scoring 11 goals as a teenager for Manchester United. The Young striker had already made an impact with within his first year, scoring as a substitute against fierce rivals Liverpool in a 3-1 victory. The pacy forward had become an unstoppable force in the Premier League and the spotlight had shifted towards him after such a stellar season. As a result, he was then handed the number 9 shirt being the primary striker for a young United side.
After a phenomenal start, Martial had a dip in form, and as a result, Jose Mourinho dropped him in the 2016/2017 season due to competition from Marcus Rashford. However, Martial seems to have lost his shine, not being able to make his place in the Starting 11 with transfers in Attacking department heavily influencing him. When Jose Mourinho joined United, he brought along with him Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is known to be a commanding character. Owing to Zlatan’s reputation, Martial gave up his number 9 shirt, a matter of prestige for a striker to Zlatan. Patrice Evra believes that Martial’s confidence dropped because of this move.
The change of kit number
Martial had to give up his number 9 shirt after Jose Mourinho signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This caused the Frenchman quite a lot of distress. Evra recalls the incident, narrating what exactly happened.
“I remember we were in the national team and he received a call from the club and they say you have to give your No. 9 shirt, and he was like, ‘no, absolutely not’.”
Jose Mourinho, a strong headed figure, who deals with difficult topics directly without any issues. Jose has also worked with players who have had ego issues coinciding with him too. Patrice Evra tells us about how Mou convinced Martial.
“But after, Mourinho contacted him to say Zlatan is going to take the No. 9 and you’re going to take the No. 11. ‘It’s not like I’m going to say Martial’s been not playing well because of that number shirt, but it started from there.”
Also Read : An Agreement reached on Alexis Sanchez
Gaining back the number 9 shirt
After Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jose Mourinho left the club, Anthony Martial regained his favourite number 9 shirt. And since then he has showed us what he is capable of. Fellow Frenchman Evra opens up.
“I remember at the beginning of the season I went to Carrington and Martial was really upset and really frustrated because he was injured and I was like, ‘wow, Anto, that’s really impressive because last time I saw you weren’t that enthusiastic, and now when you’re injured you want to come back really fast to help the team”
Anthony Martial has shown glimpses of what he can do but he has never been able to produce at his best for long periods. Recently Martial scored a hat-trick against Sheffield United, again showcasing his prowess. Evra outlines the aspects where Martial needs to show improvement.
“His attitude is where you want to play for Man United. Martial can destroy any defender if he decides.That’s why it’s really frustrating. Many people know his talent, you can ask Wayne Rooney, he’s one of the best No.9s. But he needs that aggressiveness to score goals, that anger, it’s more about his personality”
What do you think of Anthony Martial? Do you think he can become a Manchester United Legend? Do let us know in the comments below
Until then join our Facebook Group and become one of the founding members of the one of the best Manchester United Fan Communities
Youth Watchout – A look into the promising young players in our academy.
MUWomen – A look into Manchester United’s Women team players.
Similarly, follow us on our social media platforms and become a part of The Utd Arena community.
All three platforms cover different content so that you don’t see the same thing everywhere!