It seems the decision to take the no 9 jersey off Anthony Martial and give it to Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still hurting the young Frenchman. After a stellar first season where he announced himself as a player with great potential, the second season syndrome is worrying the 20 year old. Martial was handed the famous no 9 jersey upon his anticipated arrival in Manchester, and was trying to build a brand around that jersey number, in the mould of AM9. It is believed Jose Mourinho sanctioned the decision, and it would seem that the former Monaco forward is still bitter about the decision.
In a recent interview in which he was asked about the best player in the game, Martial decided to snub his United teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic and other Premier League stars, giving the honour to Lionel Messi. Speaking to Footlocker’s Week of Greatness Campaign, he said,” “Excellence in football is very difficult to achieve. “When you look at the players who are achieving greatness and excellence, I think the player who comes closest to this is Messi.” “He has almost everything, he’s all-rounder, and he is consistent season after season.” he added.
Martial has struggled for form, fitness and consistency this season, as he has only scored twice in 11 games across all competitions, totaling a mere 650 minutes. He is being shunted out wide in favour of his more illustrious colleague. He has been pushed further down the pecking order by the likes of Lingard, Rashford and Mata. He has shown the looks of a player not interested in football, and if this continues, The Red Devils may be looking to cash in on the player.
Ahead of the crucial Saturday lunchtime kickoff against Arsenal, Martial will be looking to start as Jose Mourinho sweats on the fitness of a number of his players. Wayne Rooney will most likely be benched following his drinking spree while on international duty, giving Martial the opportunity to shine, without the imposing shadow of Zlatan, as the 35 year old Swede is suspended for the match.