Jose Mourinho expects Anthony Martial to start up front for Manchester United against Leicester City on the opening day of the Premier League season.
His agent, Philipe Lamboley, stated last month that his client, following a tumultuous five months at Old Trafford, would leave Old Trafford this summer.
But no such move has materialised, with Martial travelling with the Man United squad on their pre-season tour to the United States and looking poised to start up front against Club America.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday evening, Mourinho confirmed that he would start the season using a front three of Alexis Sanchez, Juan Mata, and Martial.
“It will be important for us to work with [Juan] Mata, Alexis, Martial which we think will be the players to have in attack for the start of the season,” he said.
“No [Romelu] Lukaku no [Jesse] Lingard, no [Marcus] Rashford, if Alexis isn’t working with us for 10/15 days it will be very bad.”
Very little has been said of how Martial, despite his ‘horrible’ attitude, has arrived at pre-season with a smile on his face and a desire to get his head down on the training ground.
He would have no doubt entertained the idea of finding more minutes elsewhere only to have his head turned by the fact that, with so many attacking players at the World Cup, his chance to show the world what he could do laid right here.
He has a month of pre-season – preceded by plenty of private work over the holiday – and another month of the 2018/19 campaign before the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford are back up to full speed. That’s plenty of time to demonstrate his prowess playing down the middle and change the mind of his manager.