A big win for Manchester United saw the headlines taken by Anthony Martial, as he scored a hat-trick in their 3-0 win over Sheffield United.
Martial, 24, scored the first hat-trick of his career and the first Premier League hat-trick by a Manchester United player since Robin van Persie against Aston Villa in April 2013. It took Martial to 14 Premier League goals for the season and 19 in all competitions, the most he’s ever scored.
The Frenchman has seen the vast majority of his career at Old Trafford come from the left-wing, where he has always been inconsistent with his performances. His inconsistent playing time certainly didn’t help him, but he lost a lot of the dynamism and raw ability he had in his first season under Louis van Gaal in the last few years.
Since Solskjær came in though, Martial has been deployed solely as the central striker and has blossomed. He has scored 23 goals under Ole in 55 games, bettered only by Marcus Rashford’s 28 in 60. After his hat-trick, Solskjær spoke to Sky Sports about how he’s helped him to develop in the central striker role.
“I’m very pleased with Anthony’s development and he knows that we want him to do well and we work with him and the forwards all the time on finishing.Today, he got the rewards for the hard work he’s put in. His pressing goes unnoticed.I think, today, he was exceptional and, at Tottenham, the pressing he showed from the front was really good, so I’m very happy.”
His partnership with Marcus Rashford is blossoming and with the United academy graduate cementing his spot on the left-wing, the two have a partnership unlikely to be broken up any time soon.
We’ve also previously seen the French connection between ‘Toto’ and Paul Pogba, while new signing Bruno Fernandes has also seemed to connect well with the No.9 since his arrival in January. These all lead to positive signs for Ole and Manchester United, as they push for a Champions League place for next season.
United have been linked with attackers for the summer window, but Martial is showing that he is capable of leading the line for the new generation and if he can continue his good form throughout the remainder of this campaign there is no reason he couldn’t hit the target of 25 goals in all competitions that many fans set for him at the start of the campaign.