Manchester United’s Anthony Martial has declared his determination to rediscover peak form and fitness ahead of the new season.
The forward followed an excellent 2019/20 with an underwhelming 20/21, finishing a campaign marked by inconsistency and injuries with just four goals.
The Frenchman’s already disjointed season was abruptly ended by a knee injury suffered while on international duty in March.
The 25-year-old hasn’t yet made the step from promising youngster to mature marksman and will be hoping that a lack of other options will be enough for him to win a fresh shot at redemption.
The Athletic has reported on Martial’s struggle to make the most of his ability, noting his confusion over coaches’ encouragement to make better runs. He’s said to have worried backroom staff with his “teenage-level appreciation of space”.
However, in an interview with the club’s official website, he’s revealed an eagerness to remind United fans of his ability on the eve of the new campaign.
“I’m feeling a lot better,” he tells the site, “Getting back together with the team and training with them again, I really feel a great improvement.
“I’m going to need a few more weeks to reach my top fitness levels, and I’m really happy just now…”
After enjoying a run out in front of the Old Trafford faithful in the 4-0 win over Everton, Martial is focused on hitting the ground running against old enemies Leeds United.
“I’ve since put in my best prep work, so as to be sure of coming back in the best form I can…I hope to avoid injury, of course, and to be really ready and in top shape fitness-wise, to be able to have a great season and win some trophies.
“(Leeds) is going to be a big game, as we are all aware of the intense rivalry between these two great clubs…it is up to us to make a good start.
“We know them as a team who never stop running…It will be down to us to match them physically and get close, and to find the space to be able to hit them with our counter-attacks.”
Hopefully, there’s real substance behind the fighting talk and Martial can get back to his excellent best, starting on Saturday.