Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed in Friday’s press conference how he helped convince Anthony Martial to stay at Manchester United by insisting the Frenchman could emulate the achievements of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.
The youngster looked destined to leave over the summer having fallen out of favour under Jose Mourinho since the arrival of Alexis Sanchez in January 2018.
But Martial’s superb resurgence on the pitch this season has prompted a change of heart, with negotiations reaching a breakthrough last month. And it was announced on Thursday that the 22-year-old had signed a new contract keeping him at the club until 2024.
Speaking earlier this morning, Solskjaer shed light on the advice he shared with Martial as he considered his future.
“Of course I speak about my experience at this club and what he can achieve at this club because I think I can achieve a lot,” he said.
“As I have said many times, I’m here to help players, to guide players until the summer and I think when you sit him down and talk to him, for example, about Cristiano’s career, what he’s made of his career and how he’s got there and we talk about all the fantastic players with the history they’ve got. I think Anthony just said, ‘If I can be a part of this I’d like to’. I believe and the club believes we have got a top player there.
“I’ve been here for 15 years – coach, player, now manager – and I know how much this club can give to your career and what you can give to the club.
“I’m here to help the club and I’m just being honest with him that for me this was the best place to be. I made my career here, it was easy to sell the club to Anthony but he’s been here for many years so he knows what we’re capable of.”
Solskjaer also spoke of how he felt Martial, having watched him closely, could improve. He rightly pointed out that the Frenchman did not make enough runs in behind the defence and into good goalscoring areas. The youngster scores a lot of beautiful goals but Solskjaer wants him to start thinking about how to score ugly ones as well.
“He has the capability but I’d like him to make a few more runs in behind because he doesn’t miss chances,” Solskjaer stressed.
“When he gets chances he’s a fantastic finisher so he needs to get more chances. That’s one of the things I keep telling him – you’ve got to read and sniff whenever there is going to be a chance.
“Maybe that means some scruffy goals at times as well. Players like him and Marcus [Rashford] score loads of worldies but those five or six extra goals that I used to get just through tap-ins and stuff by making those runs could go a long way to [helping him] do that.”