Jose Mourinho explains why Anthony Martial has been very important at Manchester United

by Tanveer Arayan

Jose Mourinho has explained why Anthony Martial has been very important at Manchester United in recent weeks.

The 20-year-old has struggled to replicate the brilliance displayed last year during his time under Mourinho but took to social media earlier this year to dismiss claims that he was unhappy at Old Trafford.

And he has, ever since scoring against Burnley last month, notably improved his work rate going forward, producing strong performances against both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in recent weeks.

Mourinho, reflecting on Martial’s performance at White Hart Lane, noted that the youngster’s work rate was vital to this Man United side.

“Yeah, he was good, he was good. He was okay against Arsenal, he was okay [against Spurs] too,” he said.

“Against Celta he didn’t play because the options were different but he’s fine, he’s fine and he’s one of the guys for who it’s very important to play 90 minutes. Smalling, Jones, Mata, it’s very important for them to play 90 minutes.”

There were moments against Spurs where I actually started to feel bad for Martial. United’s attacking midfield triumvirate – and Wayne Rooney especially – simply couldn’t give him the service he needed to constantly impose himself on proceedings.

When the ball did reach Martial he was explosive, almost curling a couple of shots past Hugo Lloris following some mazy footwork through the Spurs defence before making a mockery out of Kieran Trippier in the lead-up to Wayne Rooney‘s goal.

Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are probably in line to feature out wide against Ajax, but Martial could very well force himself into the starting XI if he continues in the same vein.

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