Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Anthony Martial that he must continue to find the back of the net for Manchester United – or risk being replaced by another forward.
The 24-year-old French international scored a hat-trick in United’s 3-0 victory over Sheffield United last week to take his tally in the Premier League to 14 for the season so far.
It has been a largely fruitful campaign for Martial, who received the No.9 shirt at the start of the season following the departure of Romelu Lukaku, and speaking ahead of the Red Devils’ game against Brighton on Tuesday Solskjaer said he expects the player to carry on his fine form.
“We’ll keep challenging him,” Solskjaer said. “There are always players in and around the team – and outside the club – who would want to be No.9 for Manchester United.
“He’s playing with a smile on his face. Anthony has had a really good season, he’s been really important for us. We felt it during the couple of months he was out injured; we struggled.
“He knows that we trust him. He knows that we’ll have patience with him and that we’ll keep working with him. He’s a good finisher but it’s about being in and around the right positions. He’s developed more and more in terms of getting into that penalty area and closer to the goal.
“We do a lot of work in finishing groups and sessions but it’s also down to him to be mentally sharp and ready. We’ve always known he’s a quality player and highly, highly skilful.”
Martial is expected to start in the game against the Seagulls, with United aiming to keep up the pressure on fourth placed Chelsea.
A win would see them move just two points behind the Blues having played a game more, and would also mean they leapfrog fifth placed Wolves on goal difference.