The Frenchman’s agent confirmed earlier this summer that his client wanted to leave the club following a tumultuous five months under Jose Mourinho.
His manager, however, made it clear last week that he expected Martial to start against Leicester City on August 10, but his future hangs firmly in the balance.
Speaking on talkSPORT, Rooney, who recently joined DC United, opined that Martial was a player whose quality deserved to be nurtured rather than sidelined.
“I think Martial, ability-wise, is incredible,” he said. “But I think it’s how do you get the best out of him?”
“Knowing Anthony the way I know him I think if you can get the best out of him, he’s up there ability-wise with the best in the league.
“I think sometimes it is difficult to get to know him as a person, as a character because of the way he is.”
“But I think once you do get to know him, you just keep him happy.”
The Martial saga has never been too far away this summer. Over the World Cup, following the comments from his agent Philipe Lamboley, it felt like a matter of time before he left the club. Suddenly it was pre-season, and he was still there, and Mourinho was talking in a way which assumed he’d stay at the club.
Now, we are in an uncomfortable kind of limbo. Ed Woodward wants to keep him. Supporters want him to stay. Mourinho doesn’t want to keep the Frenchman if he is unhappy at Old Trafford. What Martial wants exactly is unknown.
One thing is for sure: if Martial doesn’t feel wanted by the manager and lacks the proper guidance as a young attacking player, he will no doubt end up feeling naturally inclined towards leaving.