Three match-days are in the books for the 2017/18 English Premier League season, and Manchester United are off to a perfect start with three wins, ten goals scored, and none conceded.
Manager Jose Mourinho has a loaded roster at his disposal, and like many coaches in top football leagues, he must utilise his players to the best of their abilities, and one of those players, in particular, is Anthony “Toni” Martial.
The Frenchman is only twenty-one years-old and has made over fifty appearances for Manchester United since 2015 and is already a regular for the French National Team.
The dilemma for Mourinho is how Martial should be utilised. We will examine two possibilities.
Martial is listed as a forward and has admitted that he prefers to play up front, but by looking at Manchester United’s roster, it is unlikely to see Martial playing up front over newly acquired Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku.
Wait a few months, and Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be back from injury. There is plenty to be excited about if you are a Manchester United supporter.
Winger on the Flanks
Martial has been compared to former French legend Thierry Henry, a man whose accomplishments at the club and international level speak for themselves.
Football experts believe that Martial’s best position is as an inside forward or attacking winger playing from the left or cutting in from the right onto his favoured left foot. Although he sees himself as a centre forward and prefers to play through the middle, he has been used as a winger by Mourinho since last season.
Martial made appearances as a substitute for the first two matches in victories over West Ham and Swansea and his two goals, and one assist earned him a spot in the starting lineup when Manchester United defeated Leicester 2-0 at Old Trafford.
Best Position for Anthony Martial?
From what I have seen, I view Martial as a utility player who is able to play on the left or right flank or as a striker but Mourinho has it right so far, and Martial will be most beneficial as a winger on the left due to Juan Mata solidifying his role on the right wing.
Martial came off the bench for Marcus Rashford in the first two matches but then got the starting nod against Leicester.
Martial’s speed and technique will have an enormous impact on the success of Manchester United this season but should Martial start or come off the bench?
In my opinion, it will be a weekly dilemma for Mourinho, but fortunately, Anthony Martial is a team-first player and cares about winning first and foremost.
Whether starting or coming off the bench, Anthony Martial has the skill set and spark to help Manchester United claim their first Premier League title since 2013.