Man Utd fans snap up Ronaldo shirts at Old Trafford
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Manchester United star Anthony Martial has insisted his recent goal for France will do him ‘a lot of good’. The 25-year-old has endured a rough 12 months, with his form drastically waning. But, as Cristiano Ronaldo prepares to make his debut against Newcastle on Sunday, his new team-mate is now feeling sharp again.
Martial’s season ended back in March, with the striker missing the final few months of the campaign.
And though he started in United’s recent 1-1 draw with Southampton, the France international has a big challenge on his hands over at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo’s return, coupled with Jadon Sancho’s arrival from Borussia Dortmund, means Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now has a congested squad of attacking talent.
With Martial blowing hot and cold over the past six years, many are expecting him to struggle to get into the team.
However, speaking after finding the net for France in their recent 1-1 draw with Ukraine, the forward insisted he’s now feeling better.
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“It was a difficult match for us, we were able to come back to the score, it was the most important,” he said.
“It’s been a long time since I had not scored, so it does me a lot of good.”
That should serve as a warning to his fellow attackers.
Martial was previously considered as United’s own version of Pele by co-owner Joel Glazer, who blocked Jose Mourinho from selling the player during his time in charge.
And the Red Devils are now hopeful he’ll kick on and prove to be the difference as the campaign goes on.
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Ronaldo and Sancho aren’t the only players complicating his path to Solskjaer’s starting XI, either.
Mason Greenwood has scored three goals from as many matches so far this season, making him undroppable in the eyes of his manager.
Marcus Rashford is currently injured but, when fully fit, usually makes the cut.
United also have Edinson Cavani at their disposal, too, with the Uruguay international staying put after a summer of speculation.
And Paul Pogba’s fine form on the left wing makes him another attacking option for Solskjaer, as well, despite being a midfielder by trade.
Meanwhile, regarding Ronaldo, Harry Redknapp thinks he can be a vital asset to the club this season.
“I don’t think we’ll see the Ronaldo of old, you’ll see him passing more, rather than speeding at defenders,” he said.
“And he’s just got that knack of being in the right place at the right time.
“He will be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s biggest ally, because he shows everyone else how to do things, how he works, how to live their lives.
“Carlo Ancelotti told that when he managed him at Real Madrid, Ronnie was always first in and last out at training. Not now and then, but every single day.
“Mason Greenwood, 19, Jadon Sancho, 21, and 23-year-old Marcus Rashford . . . all those young players at United will learn so much from him.
“All the Academy kids, they should be watching him and soaking up every bit of knowledge they can.”
Martial could be involved when United face off against Newcastle on Saturday.
And that match is expected to be Ronaldo’s second debut for the club.
The Portugal international has a good record against the Magpies, scoring his only hat-trick in English football against them in 2008.
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