Man Utd's 2022/23 Premier League Fixtures
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Manchester United star Anthony Martial clattered into Alejandro Garnacho in training on Wednesday. The France international has scored three goals from as many pre-season matches since his disastrous loan spell at Sevilla. And he appears to have the hunger in his belly to succeed at Old Trafford under new boss Erik ten Hag.
Manchester United thought Martial had turned a corner when he scored 23 goals in the 2019/2020 season.
However, the France international then regressed and was allowed to spend the season half of last season on loan with Sevilla – where he netted just once.
Many were expecting Martial to be sold at the start of the summer, after years of inconsistency under the likes of Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
But, with three goals from three in pre-season, he seems to have his mojo back.
And Martial has impressed fans with his attitude by clattering into Garnacho in video footage uploaded by The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell.
The striker hasn’t always been known for his work ethic.
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But Martial seems to be more motivated than ever before and he was playful with his young team-mate afterwards, affectionally rubbing his hair.
Fans have reacted to the footage, with user @ArionArmeniakos saying: “I want two of whatever Erik is feeding Martial.”
A second, @UnitedScouser, said: “I hope Martial is given a proper chance even when old man Ronaldo tries to act like he never wanted to leave after getting rejected by any and everyone.”
A third user, @MufcAlfie, tipped Martial to score consistently this term by chipping in with: “Yh were getting 30 goals all comps this season.”
And a fourth, @Possimpible7, said: “Is Martial finally acting like a senior player and helping youngsters??”
United have, for years, waited to see the best from Martial.
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And it’s certainly been a rocky road so far as the France international prepares to enter his eighth season at the club.
Under Louis van Gaal, the 26-year-old netted 17 times after arriving from Monaco back in the summer transfer window of 2015.
But his career stagnated under Mourinho, who stripped him of his favourite No 9 jersey to give it to Zlatan Ibrahimovic instead.
Martial was also deployed as a winger when the Portuguese ruled the roost, much to his annoyance.
Under Solskjaer, he had his moments – with his tally of 23 goals two years ago his best for a single campaign.
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But he toiled following the return of Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus, scoring just a single goal before being allowed to leave for Sevilla in January.
Now, United are hopeful Martial can finally kick on and realise his potential after years of blowing hot and cold.
And Ten Hag, speaking recently, insisted the sky is the limit for his current No 9.
“I’m sure he can come back even better,” he said after Martial scored in United’s 4-1 victory over Melbourne Victory last week.
“I think when he has the right focus and the right motivation and he works hard he will have production because he is a good player.
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“I say when he has the right focus and every day delivers his max then he will have production and it’s up to him.”
Former United star Bryan Robson has been impressed by Martial, too.
He said: “He’s been in good form, he looks nice and sharp in training and in the two games he’s done well – got two goals, so his confidence should be coming back, and I feel like he could have a part to play.
“You can’t look at last season because he lost his confidence.
“But the season before, he was in good form.
“He can be a good option with Cristiano (Ronaldo). He could have a part to play as long as he keeps his head on and is determined in his performances.”
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