Updated: Jun 26, 2020
Anthony Martial has been through quite a journey at Old Trafford. In his 5 years at Manchester United he’s developed alongside some world class talents; Rooney, Chicharito, Zlatan, Rashford, Sanchez, Lukaku. Though it has taken time to settle since his debut wondergoal, there are signs that Martial deserves to be Number 9 for United.
There is little doubt he has class in his locker. When he arrived as a teenager, schooling Liverpool’s defence on his debut, the hype was at fever pitch. It’s not been an easy ride since those buzzing days; 3 changes in management, comings and goings of strike partners, flipping shirt numbers, learning to play on a wing and up tops in the toughest league in the world.
His stats at a glimpse are decent but not quite up to a standard you’d expect at United; 11 goals and 3 assists in 23 games. Form was on the up before Coronavirus - 3 in the last 4 in the Premier League. Good, not great. But when you scratch deeper you’ll be surprised. 60 shots this season, 30 on target. 50% shot accuracy. For comparison, Jimenez leads the league with 99 shots this season, but only 35 on target. That's 35%. Salah leads shots on target with 43, but has taken 98. 44% accurate. Martial may not be scoring as many, but is certainly testing keepers. He’s scored just 2 goals less than Jimenez in 39 fewer shots. Salah is third in the league in goals at 16, but has taken 38 more shots than Martial. Aubameyang - 42% accuracy. Aguero? 38%. You get the idea.
Hitting the target doesn’t win you games. Scoring does. But you’ve got to hit the target to score and Martial is incredibly good at hitting the target.
So the question is, is he not shooting enough? If so, is that because of a lack of creativity around him or because he as an individual is not good enough to get a shot away and beat the keeper? If he pulled the pin more often, would we see him challenging league-leaders in goals?
When Football returns, we could have some answers. For now, the Frenchman sits at £2.35 on the index. We can’t wait to see if Martial steps up and fulfils his potential, or if United sign a new striker to pair with Rashford.
We’d expect a strong rise in value if the 24 year old holds a spot in United’s starting XI next season.