Anthony Martial, not Bruno Fernandes, is ‘key’ to Man Utd rebuild

Bruno Fernandes stole the show for Manchester United on Sunday but Anthony Martial’s fine solo effort didn’t go unnoticed.

The France international has failed to show his ability on a consistent basis since his £36m move from Monaco back in 2015, managing 63 goals in 205 fixtures for the Red Devils.

However, the 24-year-old is well on course to best his best goals return of 17 this time out, and Danny Higginbotham reckons he could outshine his Portuguese team-mate to be the face of Solskjaer’s rebuild.

Fernandes scored and assisted in the 3-2 win over Watford, marking an impressive start to his career at Old Trafford, but Martial has been backed to become one of the best forwards in the world.

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The former Stoke defender wrote in his column for The Sun: “Anthony Martial is showing he can be one of the top players in Europe.

“And Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves huge credit for getting the French forward firing.

“New signing Bruno Fernandes will get most of the plaudits for his goal from the spot — he won the penalty — and had assists for Martial and Mason Greenwood.

“It was the Bruno Fernandes show but there was also so much to be positive about when it came to Martial, who scored for the third game in a row yesterday for the first time in United colours.

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“He can be whatever he wants to be. The goal showed that — he took it so nonchalantly.

“Consistency is one of the things that can take him to the next level and he has got eight goals and two assists in his last 13 starts.

“More often than not, when he plays it is as the centre-forward. When you give consistency to a player in terms of playing time and position, you get the best out of him.

“And in this day and age the biggest thing for a manager is man-management — and Solskjaer is clearly getting that right.”

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His Norwegian boss was also full of praise for Martial’s finish, noting his delight at the recent form.

“I am delighted for the week he has had. He’s come up with a No 9’s goal at Chelsea, he did everything to get the goal against Brugge and today is more than the Anthony we know about.

“The skill is just mind-blowing but I want more from him.

“Anthony has got his critics and I am one of the biggest because I am demanding different stuff from him and we will keep at him.”

  • Manchester United FC
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
  • Premier League

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