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Stats tell us that Martial is just as good as Eden Hazard and Sadio Mane – but that’s not the whole story

Man United's in-form winger has netted four times in the Premier League this season, but Gary Neville's analysis on Sky Sports MNF highlights the problem with his work-rate

It’s been all doom and gloom for Man United this season.

But in recent weeks, Anthony Martial has been their saviour – netting important goals against Newcastle, Chelsea and Everton to keep their head above the water.

It’s ironic really, considering how desperate Jose Mourinho seemed to be over the summer to sell the young Frenchman.

After all, if it wasn’t for some of Martial’s heroics lately, then Mourinho could well be unemployed right now.

Martial is the man

PA:Press Association
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Martial is the man

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Speaking ahead of Spurs’ clash with Man City on Sky Sports Monday Night Football, Gary Neville looked extensively at Martial’s attacking contribution for United and compared them with the other great goal-threats in the top-flight.

In fact, when compared to the likes of Eden Hazard and Sadio Mane, Martial isn’t all that far behind in terms of goals and assists.

Martial compared to his rivals

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Martial compared to his rivals

But that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Neville then focused on Martial’s running and movement off the ball, and that’s where he’s clearly letting himself down compared to his peers.

Neville said: “Some weeks I think he’s brilliant, other weeks I’m not sure he’s a Manchester United player.

“What drives me crazy about him is his off the ball work. He doesn’t know where to be and where to run at the right times.”

His distance covered severely lets him down

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His distance covered severely lets him down

As we all know, Mourinho is big on his players off the ball movement and their contribution across other areas of the pitch, especially defensively.

With Martial’s overall distance covered over 90 minutes considerably down on his rivals, it’s no wonder the manager is still not convinced by the former Monaco forward.

It makes sense, in fact, that he wanted to offload him over the summer and buy the more defensively disciplined Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan.

Mourinho seemingly wanted to offload the youngster in the summer

AP:Associated Press
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Mourinho seemingly wanted to offload the youngster in the summer

Even so, it’s fair to say that Martial is one of the more exciting players in United’s team at the moment, and he’s clearly in a good run of form.

But does he have enough about him to really become one of the best players in the Premier League?

It seems he’s needs to work a bit harder, judging by Neville’s excellent analysis.


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