Louis Saha has dismissed Paul Scholes’ claim that Anthony Martial “conned” Manchester United fans into thinking he’s an out-and-out striker.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deployed Martial in a more central role last season, in which the France international flourished.
Martial bagged 23 goals in all competitions last season but has struggled to find the back of the net this campaign, with his drought prompting criticism from Red Devils legend Scholes.
“The problem with United’s forwards is that none of them is an actual centre-forward,” the former United midfielder said earlier this month.
“Martial almost conned us into thinking he was one at the end of last season because he scored so many goals and was quite good.
“He’s started this season quite poorly again, which makes you think he isn’t. It’s misleading.”
Saha, who spent four years at Old Trafford, has taken exception to his former team-mate’s assessment of Martial, insisting his countryman has already proven himself to be a capable centre-forward.
Newcastle United (a) – Premier League, Oct 17
Paris Saint-Germain (a) – Champions League, Oct 20
Chelsea (h) – Premier League, Oct 24
RB Leipzig (h) – Champions League, Oct 28
Arsenal (h) – Premier League, Nov 1
Istanbul Basaksehir (a), Champions League, Nov 4
Everton (a) – Premier League, Nov 7
In an interview with Stadium Astro, the former United hitman said: “I don’t think Martial at first is a No.9
“But he has the quality to give some more options because he’s able to take the ball and control and dribble, link up with players.
“In terms of getting in that position where a midfielder like Paul Scholes needs to have the understanding of where you’re going to be and where you’re going to run it’s very important and if he doesn’t see that maybe it’s an indication that something he needs to improve.
“But, Martial has proved to me that he could be a No.9, he’s got to still learn from maybe [Edinson] Cavani and there are things he can improve.
“But definitely, He was tremendous last year and he can evolve with players around him. ‘I disagree [with Scholes] a little bit.”
Martial and his United team-mates will be back in action on Wednesday night, taking on RB Leipzig in their second Champions League group match.