Anthony Martial running out of time to disprove Louis van Gaal’s 2015 opinion

Anthony Martial might be in his sixth season at Manchester United – but the jury is still out on the frustrating Frenchman.

Ask a United fan what their opinion of him is and most of them would stand there scratching their heads.

No-one has been able to reach a verdict of whether or not he is a world class talent or someone who promises much but delivers too little too often.

Martial became the most expensive teenager in world football when he joined United from Monaco in a potential £58m deal in 2015 at the age of just 19.

Louis Van Gaal, who was United manager at the time, called the transfer fee "ridiculous" and it was met with genuine astonishment back in France.

He is now 25 and heading towards the peak of his powers, but Martial continues to leave those who both manage and support him wondering if the best is still to come, or if it has been and gone.

Martial is capable of moments of brilliance, like the wonderful solo goal he scored against Liverpool at Old Trafford on his debut or the hat-trick he plundered against Sheffield United in 2020.

But he is also capable of going missing for weeks on end while displaying a negative body language – and has earned a reputation for sulking when things are not to his liking.

He endured a miserable relationship with former boss Jose Mourinho, who fined him back in 2018 for leaving a pre-season tour of America without permission.

In total, Martial has scored 78 goals in 249 appearances in all competitions to justify the fact people remain undecided about his true worth to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

The emergence of Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, combined with the signing of Edinson Cavani, means Martial is not guaranteed his place in the team and Solskjaer wants this to galvanise his gifted but enigmatic forward.

Martial's two goals as a second half substitute in the record-equalling 9-0 drubbing of the Blades on Tuesday night could prove to be the shot in the arm he needs.

They were his first goals since New Year's Day and took his season's tally to seven, which is not good enough to match the standards expected at Old Trafford.

If United are to go on and win their first title since 2013, Solskjaer needs more from Martial between now and the end of the season.

If he can deliver what is required, then perhaps United will start to believe they have finally got some value from their sizeable and risky investment.

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