Manchester United’s Anthony Martial must put more effort in in games to reach the world-class level his ability could allow him to, according to Gary Neville.
The Frenchmen scored the winner for Man United in a vital 1–0 victory against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday afternoon, but Neville believes Martial must show more consistent high-quality performances.
And to do so, Neville is of the belief that Martial must start working harder. The United great claims the the 21-year-old regularly puts in 85% effort in games, and that the extra 15% could see him reach the elite level of strikers like Suarez, Ronaldo, Messi.
”It’s been a stop-start Manchester United career for Martial,” he said on the Gary Neville Podcast.
“For someone of his talent, he should be tearing this league apart with his ability. He’s lost his place in the France squad. There’s obviously something wrong with him.
“Mourinho and the French manager has turned off of him a little bit. You always get the feeling he’s playing at 85 per cent. If he showed that extra 15 per cent, then he could do anything. He’s got everything you’d want: composure in front of goal, great skill, pace, strength, but what is that little bit missing?
“The best players in the world don’t have ‘buts’ – the likes of Luiz Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi – there are no buts. Martial is well off that category but that’s where he’s got to be looking. He’s worth £50million and with that talent, he’s got to step up.
“He scores in big games, he takes big moments on and obviously has the temperament to play in big games. But come on, let’s see it every single week.
“He could be a player that could score 20 goals in 20 games if he really wanted to and strived to be the best.”
Martial’s winner against Spurs was his fourth strike off the substitutes bench this season. He’s impressed hugely after a poor season last year where he failed to live up to the high standards he had set as a teenager when he first arrived at the club, netting 17 times in his first season.
Sometimes Martial appears be working less hard than others, or appears not to care about missing chances. But in reality, it may be that the Frenchman is simply extraordinarily level-headed. He’s an ice-cool finisher, as his goal on Saturday at Old Trafford showed, and he’s superbly composed.
But if there is another 15% more to come from Martial, he will become one of United and the league’s best players.