Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may change Anthony Martial role because of one player

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Manchester United manager Solskjaer rates Martial but, last season, grew tired of the France international’s attitude.

As the Red Devils’ campaign imploded, the 23-year-old struggled for form and shrinked from the challenge of picking the club up amid a torrid run of form that saw them fail to qualifyt for the Champions League.

By the end of the season, Martial was in the Manchester United shadows. His future, however, is not uncertain.

The forward signed a new contract at Old Trafford in January and he is also understood to be the Joel Glazer’s favourite player.

But Solskjaer has a conundrum: how does he get the best from a player who has shown only glimpses of his best form over the last four years?

The answer may very well be to move Martial back into the centre-forward role he occupied when he first joined.

Few had heard of the Frenchman when he swaggered into town on transfer deadline day in 2015. One newspaper even said ‘what a waste of money’.

Except Martial made them look daft. The United star hit 17 goals during his first season at Old Trafford, propelling them to FA Cup glory.

Comparisons with Louis Saha were, at the time, justified. He certainly looked as if he could be as ruthless as his compatriot.

And then Jose Mourinho came along, bringing disciple Zlatan Ibrahimovic with him.

That hurt Martial. Suddenly he was no longer a No 9 – in every sense of the word. Ibrahimovic was given both his position and his number.

Mourinho never saw the France international as a striker. It was why he went for Romelu Lukaku in 2017.

But Unibet have suggested Martial may be in line for a return to his old role should Lukaku jump ship.

That looks likely to happen. Inter Milan want him, and he wants them.

Lukaku knows that Solskjaer doesn’t see him as a regular starter. That honour goes to Marcus Rashford.

But if he leaves, given how United have other priorities, a door may be opened.

Martial showed during his first season in English football when he can do in a central role.

It is, therefore, slightly bemusing that Mourinho and even Solskjaer last season never contemplated moving him.

Lukaku going could be how Martial saves his United career. But, rather than a tricky winger, as an out-and-out goalscorer.

After all, what other choice do United have at present?

They are too busy on working on deals for the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Bruno Fernandes to go for a new striker as well.

United coaches know there’s a player in Martial: it’s just about unlocking his potential.

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