Marcel Desailly: Anthony Martial isn’t good enough to play for France

by Leo Nieboer

Former France midfielder and World Cup winner Marcel Desailly believes Anthony Martial is not good enough to merit selection for his national team.

The 22-year-old was starved of opportunities to play under Jose Mourinho following the acquisition of Alexis Sanchez in January and missed out on a World Cup spot as a result.

His agent confirmed earlier this week that the Frenchman had decided to leave Old Trafford in response, although Manchester United have no intention to sell him.

Speaking ahead of France’s 2-1 win over Australia, which saw Paul Pogba score the winner, Desailly opined that Martial didn’t deserve a spot in Didier Deschamps’ World Cup squad.

“Martial, Lacazette and Kingsley Coman – that’s a lot of players, I agree,” he said. 

“That’s a choice, that’s Didier’s one. He tried them during the European Championships. He may have realised that they were one level lower than what he was looking for.”

It is opinions such as these which explains why Martial wants to move elsewhere this summer. Nobody can blame him whatsoever.

Many forget that Martial started this season brilliantly: 11 goals, five assists, three ‘Player of the Month’ awards in the first five months, only for Mourinho to remove him from the starting XI to accommodate Sanchez, who has failed to serve as a notably better alternative.

Martial’s performances, in turn, have dipped. That is what happens when you starve a 22-year-old of minutes and confidence. He will no doubt go on and make the comments of Desailly – and many others – look foolish with his new club, where he will hopefully get the chance to shine denied to him at Old Trafford.

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