Speaking at this afternoon’s press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League match against Istanbul Basaksehir, the boss was asked to comment on the Frenchman’s lack of goals in the Premier League this season and was quick to highlight problems that had hindered his preparation.
‘Anthony did really develop last season. I thought he made big strides towards becoming the striker we know he can be,’ Solskjaer said.
‘But Anthony is no different from other players in our team that he’s not had a pre-season as normal, and he’s working to get to his peak form.
‘Obviously he lost three games – or three-and-a-half, almost four games – because he had a three-game suspension and it [the sending-off] was very early in the Tottenham game.
‘So he’s lost a bit of football. Too much football. He scored against Basaksehir last time a good header, so we hope that he’s just going to continue working hard to get to his best again.’
‘We want Anthony to keep calm.
‘I thought with France, against Portugal, he showed his qualities as a centre-forward, getting into positions. Then Patricio made a few good saves, and that might have affected Anthony’s confidence.
‘For me, it’s him getting the chances – that’s the big thing. Because I know his conversion rate has always been good. Maybe at the moment the keepers have made a few good saves against him, but that will change quickly.’
Martial’s record in the Champions League so far this season has been excellent, with two goals and two assists in three games – a goal involvement average of more than one per game.
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