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Anthony Martial “almost conned” Manchester United fans into thinking he was a centre-forward last season, according to Red Devils legend Paul Scholes.
United were left without a recognised striker in the 2019/20 campaign, failing to bring in a replacement for Romelu Lukaku after allowing the Belgian to complete a £73million switch to Inter Milan.
As a result, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer often deployed Martial at the pinpoint of his attack as opposed to in his natural position on the wing.
And it proved a masterstroke from Solskjaer when the Frenchman registered 23 goals in 48 appearance – with nine of them coming in the last 13 games of the season.
Nevertheless, Martial has failed to hit the ground running this term, drawing blank in his first three appearances and picking up a red card in last week’s 6-1 defeat at home to Tottenham.
Solskjaer has since added Edinson Cavani to his ranks, signing the former Paris St-Germain striker free of charge on transfer deadline day.
Yet Scholes believes his former team-mate is still lacking a “top-class No.9” at Old Trafford, suggesting Martial conned fans into thinking he could do the job last season.
“These forwards are exceptionally talented lads. We all know that,” the former United midfielder told Stadium Astro.
“The problem with United’s forwards is that none of them is an actual centre-forward.
“Martial almost conned us into thinking he was one at the end of last season because he scored so many goals and was quite good.
“He’s started this season quite poorly again, which makes you think he isn’t. It’s misleading. That’s why I’ve kept saying we need a top-class No. 9.”
Scholes is not convinced by the signing of Cavani, adding: "Obviously in his day, he’s been a top quality centre-forward. There’s no doubt about that. But he’s 33 years old, looked like he was going to retire. He’s not played a lot of football for PSG last season.
"Five, six years ago, yeah he’s a great signing, he’ll take us onto that next level possibly. But I just don’t think he’ll take us to the next level now.
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"But that’s what Manchester United seems to be now, it seems to be – I think of the forwards we have… Cavani, he should be a loan signing
“If you’re struggling without a centre-forward it should be a two or three month loan signing just to get through a sticky period."
- Manchester United FC
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