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Anthony Martial's luck may be about to change at Manchester United

Man Utd player Anthony Martial has endured a frustrating few months but will get the chance to shine on tour

Anthony Martial's luck may be about to change at Manchester United

Man Utd player Anthony Martial has endured a frustrating few months but will get the chance to shine on tour

12 July 2018 Thursday 11:54
Anthony Martial's luck may be about to change at Manchester United

Anthony Martial did not look like an unhappy man as he breezed into Carrington on Wednesday morning. Armed with his trusted wash bag, the Frenchman threw a peace sign and a smile as he swaggered towards the cameras perched by the player's entrance.

It was hardly the demeanour of a player who was tossing and turning about his future. Or, indeed, fearing a potentially awkward reunion with Jose Mourinho.

The very fact Martial returned for pre-season training said enough and it is telling that it has been the 22-year-old's agent who has been doing the talking.

Philippe Lamboley's words - that his client wanted to leave the club - sent shock waves around the football world last month but United were not about to panic. Indeed, Mourinho has seen it all before.

It has rarely been straightforward between Martial and Mourinho.

“I know he's a top talent, but he needs to listen to me, not his agent. He needs to listen to me in training, where I try to improve the players," he told reporters back in December, 2016, when there was a suggestion Martial, could go out on loan to Sevilla.

You can bet Mourinho will repeat those words when he inevitably pulls Martial in for a one-on-one chat in his office as he reassures him about his prospects under him. And not for the first time as he tries to get inside Martial's head.

In contrast, one of the reasons why Marcus Rashford has been Mourinho's most used player at United is because they had an instant connection. No matter the goal drought, Mourinho could press the youngster and squeeze him - and get a positive reaction.

Using those tactics with Martial does not always produce the same response but this is a player with a point to prove. Whatever about Alexis Sanchez's arrival, Martial's form nose dived in the final months of last season.

And that can''t just be blamed on Sanchez, who has set up camp in his favoured role on the left. Indeed, it is easy to forget that Martial produced his best run of form last season A. Following United's not-so-secret pursuit of Ivan Perisic and B. With Rashford pushing him.

Martial played not only like his place in the team depended on it but, also, with his World Cup dream very much alive. Martial will be watching on like the rest of us on Sunday when France bid to win the competition for the second time.

The task for the Frenchman is to use that pain, that memory, to push him on - and he will get an immediate chance to do just that. This summer's tour is a real chance for Martial to lay down a marker.

Indeed, given the shortage of forwards available, with Romelu Lukaku and Rashford absent, you could easily envisage Martial getting the chance to shine up front in the US.

It was in that position where Martial put in, arguably, one of his best performances of the campaign against Everton last season and the truth is he remains one of the club's best natural finishers - if not the best.

It is worth remembering, too, that Mourinho trusted him enough with that role and also used him in a two-man strikeforce when United reverted to three at the back.

Just as he pulled off one of the moments of last summer's tour with *that* assist against Real Madrid, this is another chance for Martial to show the world what he is made of - whether it is on the left, right or through the middle.

And prove that he is ready for the fight. Once and for all.

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