Paul Merson: Man United should play Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial up front

by Tanveer Arayan

Sky Sports’ Paul Merson believes Manchester United should play Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford alongside each other next season.

Rashford has taken the opportunity given to him by Louis van Gaal this year, scoring twice on his debut against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League and twice against Arsenal in the Premier League. He now has five goals in nine appearances.

As for Martial, he’s justified his £36m price tag and scored his 13th of the season when he slotted in Timothy Fosu-Mensah‘s cross to seal a 1-0 win against Everton last Sunday.

Both have had excellent seasons in their own rights and Merson feels Man United don’t need to buy another striker if they stick with Rashford and Martial.

“They should let Anthony Martial play up front next season, with Marcus Rashford as their other striker,” Merson said.

“Rashford deserves to play. He looks an exciting prospect to me. If United go and buy a big star, will he get a game? I can’t see it.

“They should give him and Martial a chance to prove themselves next season. I remember when Arsenal tried to buy Tony Cottee but he went to Everton instead.

“If he had signed for Arsenal I would never have had my chance at the club, and I think I did pretty well for them in the end.”

In this current formation, playing two strikers is a foreign prospect but maybe a more traditional 4-4-2 could get the best out of them both?

Martial has made it clear on more than one occasion that he sees his future in the No.9 role and although Rashford started his career out wide, I do think his future lies as a centre-forward as well. So, in that sense, a formation with two strikers would seem the best way to maximise both their potentials.

Merson is correct that signing a big name marquee striker could thwart the progress of either but the squad is in some need of depth, so a new striker should be brought in to improve our options. The delicate balancing act is bringing in the right player who adds quality but is happy to play an Ole Gunnar Solskjaer role if Martial and Rashford were to lead the line.

I wouldn’t be at all adverse to seeing Rashford and Martial playing as a centre-forward duo because with their amount of movement and raw pace, they could prove to be a brilliant partnership if given the opportunity to thrive.

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