Man Utd boss Solskjaer explains why Martial will prove doubters wrong this season

The Man Utd forward struggled for form in the last campaign but Solskjaer is confident he will improve his goal tally in the new season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Anthony Martial to prove his doubters wrong and believes Manchester United fans will see a different player to the one that struggled last season. 

The Frenchman managed just seven goals across all competitions in 37 appearances last term, but Solskjaer has seen something in pre-season which makes him believe the 25-year-old will turn things around.

Solskjaer shut down suggestions the forward could be leaving the club before the transfer window closes at the end of the month and explained why he has hope this season will be different for Martial. 

What was said? 

Solskjaer was asked in his pre-Leeds press conference if he thinks Martial has what it takes to be Man Utd’s No 9. 

He replied: “As I’ve said before we really rate Anthony. Last season was disappointing, we had injuries, he lost some form, the season before he was our top scorer.

“If Anthony is taking all the penalties, or Marcus Rashford last season would have taken all the penalties, that’s another 10-15 goals for a centre forward but we’ve got Bruno [Fernandes] who’s so confident on pens that you can’t take that away from him really.

“I’m very confident and I like what I see from Anthony when I see him in training now, and when I see him in the gym he has that little bit of grit between his teeth again.”

Solskjaer also wants to see the forwards step up their goal tally after Fernandes finished as the club’s highest scorer last season with 28 goals across all competitions. 

“I think with the forwards that we have, yeah, Anthony will score more goals than he did last season. I think Mason [Greenwood] will only develop. Edinson [Cavani] started late in the season, I think he’ll score more goals. Jadon [Sancho] will come in and chip in with goals so I feel confident that the burden is not just on Bruno to score goals,” Solskjaer explained.

“An attacking midfielder shouldn’t be the only one scoring 15-20 goals.” 

Martial struggles in 2020-21

Martial managed just four goals in the league in the last campaign while his other three came in the Champions League (two) and Carabao Cup (one).

The French forward did miss the last 10 league games of the season with a knee injury that saw him sidelined for five months. 

The season before, Martial managed 23 goals across the campaign with 17 of those coming in the league. 

What about Martial’s future? 

There has been plenty of speculation about Martial’s future at Old Trafford. Goal understands his position in the squad has never been in doubt and he has always been in Solskjaer’s plans. 

And the United manager confirmed the Frenchman will not be going anywhere this month. 

“I wouldn’t be surprised if other teams targeted Anthony, he’s a very very good player,” Solskjaer said. “He has come back strong, hungry and determined to prove his fitness and quality.

“Last season was a difficult one for him and you can see that little bit of grit through his teeth again. He’s up for the challenge, he’s a Man Utd player and we’re happy we have him. He’s proved doubters wrong so many times.”

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