Gary Neville has admitted that he cannot make his mind up on the talent of young Manchester United forward Anthony Martial.
The Frenchman netted twice for the Reds last weekend against Chelsea in a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, but couldn’t find the back of the net as he frequently lost possession at Old Trafford in Man United’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus.
Martial has had a rough two seasons since Jose Mourinho took over as United manager, having netted 17 goals in his debut season under Louis van Gaal. In this campaign, things have been more positive, despite summer rumours that Martial could leave the club.
Neville paid tribute to Martial’s talent but admitted he’s frustrated by many elements of the 22-year-old’s game.
“He’s got unbelievable talent, the ability to become one of the best in the world, he just needs confidence, belief and to play in a team that’s successful and all of a sudden we’ll see the real Martial,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“On the other hand I’d look at it thinking his (Martial) body language isn’t great, his movement off the ball isn’t great, he does not make enough moves between the right back and centre back. He doesn’t drive at people often enough in the final third.”
Neville insisted that United shouldn’t yet sell Martial because of the potential of the forward. The former-Reds captain is also accepting of the recent rumours that suggest Martial has rejected the latest contract offer from United.
“I am so torn, you don’t want to lose him [Martial] and think of what he might become,” Neville explained.
“It feels like I am sitting on the fence, but it is the reality I am at, I cannot make my mind up on him and I am not sure if that’s good or bad three years in.
“He probably wants the same level of money some of the other players in the squad are on, he is probably looking at his options externally.
“From that point of view, at this moment in time, it doesn’t surprise me at all that he’s turned it down.”
Martial is frustrating. But he’s also one of the few players in the United side who make you sit on the edge of your seat.
With Romelu Lukaku in terrible form, it may be time for manager Jose Mourinho to give Martial a spell of games as a central striker rather than on the left flank.