It has been a tough year for Anthony Martial at Manchester United this year, and it was a week to forget for the tricky winger. On Thursday he was omitted from the French national squad for the World Cup, and on Saturday his side lost the F.A Cup final; where he only made a cameo appearance. So what has gone wrong for the man who was billed as the next Thierry Henry?
Martial burst onto the scene with Monaco in his first full season as he found the net 12 times in all competitions and finished as their highest scorer. This brought plenty of attention from the rest of Europe who wanted to get his name on the dotted line. However, he chose Manchester United in a deal worth £36 million which could rise to £58 million; an astronomical fee for a 19-year-old.
Things started brightly under former manager Louis Van Gaal as he scored on his debut against bitter rivals Liverpool and he netted 17 times in all competitions. However, under Jose Mourinho, he has not profited as much and as a result, has found himself in the team one week and out of it the next.
In the 2016/17 season, Martial found things difficult on the pitch due to personal reasons and with Marcus Rashford being favoured by Mourinho to play out on the left-hand side of midfield. At the start of the latest season, Martial was only being used sporadically but scored two in his first two games. However, the season never really kicked off for the Frenchman who found form hard to come by.
Despite fans wanting to see more of Martial, he never gave Mourinho a reason to play him with some lacklustre performances against teams that were there for the taking. Apart from a blip in the New Year, where he scored three in four games and assisted one, it has been a torrid campaign for the paceman who looks like he will be heading for the exit in the summer.
Martial has struggled to break into the France team on a regular basis since 2016. With just three caps since 2017, it is no real surprise he has been left out of Didier Deschamps thinking. With the emergence of Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Thomas Lemar, Martial has dropped down the pecking order.
There is no doubting he has plenty of talent and is willing to run and attack the fullback he faces, but he is still very raw. He is still only 22 years old and has more than enough to offer in the future, but he does lack the discipline to track back for his team and does not possess the ability to produce an excellent cross for his teammates in the box.
The main reason is his club form for missing out on a place in Deschamps side, and some may argue Mourinho’s style of play has hampered his chance, but ultimately he has not done enough for Manchester United on the pitch to warrant a place in such a fantastic French squad.