Anthony Martial has been a constant cause for concern this season at Manchester United, with Erik ten Hag unable to rely on the striker.
The Frenchman’s injuries have seen him start just eight matches in all competitions this season, and never once see out 90 minutes.
It is a sad state of affairs for a player who appeared to be a perfect fit for Ten Hag all the way back in preseason, with his goalscoring and work rate showing notable improvements.
Indeed, on the odd occasion where he has been available, United have looked considerably better than they have done with now-departed Cristiano Ronaldo and on-loan Wout Weghorst.
He has averaged a goal contribution roughly every 98 minutes during this campaign, but when the minutes are so sparse, that statistic is significantly less impressive.
That has raised questions over his long-term future at the club, with some suggesting that Martial may not be a Manchester United player come September.
But, as pointed out by Laurie Whitwell of The Athletic, The Red Devils would have a difficult time moving him on.
“Anthony Martial is now 27, an optimum age, but is fading from influence,” Whitwell says. “He has played an average of 26 games per season in the past three years, many of those substitute appearances.
“Sevilla could only afford to take Martial temporarily last season because Joel Glazer waived the loan fee. The Spanish club then had no plans to make the move permanent.
“On paper, Martial looks like a player with value — a French international with 60 Premier League goals to his name — but in reality, it could be tough to find a club willing to pay the money.”
With Martial’s contract expiring at the end of next season, the most likely outcome appears to be remaining at Old Trafford before leaving as a free agent. The striker’s fitness would take quite some proving to turn that situation around.
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