Paul Scholes has seemingly changed his option on Anthony Martial and has questioned whether the Manchester United forward’s best position is in a central role.
Martial enjoyed the best season of his Manchester United career to date last season after scoring 23 goals in all competitions, his reinstating as a number nine paying dividends as he finished as the club’s leading scorer.
The France international has struggled to produce his best form over the opening weeks of the season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, however, failing to find the net as the Red Devils have won just one of their opening three Premier League fixtures.
Martial’s early season form has already led to former favourite Scholes suggesting the forward ‘almost conned’ the supporters into thinking he was a centre-forward, a u-turn on his own verdict towards the end of last season.
“These forwards are exceptionally talented lads. We all know that,” Scholes told Stadium Astro.
“The problem with United’s forwards is that none of them is an actual centre-forward.
Anthony Martial’s goals in all competitions since joining Man Utd:
2015/2016 — 17
2016/2017 — 8
2017/2018 — 11
2018/2019 — 12
2019/2020 — 23*
Reached a new level playing as a centre forward. 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/ydY5W8nWlW
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) August 5, 2020
“Martial almost conned us into thinking he was one at the end of last season because he scored so many goals and was quite good.
“He’s started this season quite poorly again, which makes you think he isn’t. It’s misleading. That’s why I’ve kept saying we need a top-class No. 9.”
Scholes’ comments come after he previously praised Martial’s transformation into a centre-forward following the club’s victory over FC Copenhagen in the Europa League last season, the 24-year-old impressing as United beat the Danish side 1-0 to advance to the semi-finals.
“I like him, I’ve always liked him,” Scholes said in August.
“Is he a No.9 or is he a wide player? He’s turned himself into a No.9 every game I watch, more and more.
“When he squares a player up and gets a run at him, I think he’s unstoppable. I don’t see how you stop him. If a defender commits himself, he’s going to give fouls away.
“Great dribbling and he’s normally a brilliant finisher. Tonight the finishing just wasn’t quite there but there was so many brilliant bits of play he produced at the end.”
Martial is set to miss Manchester United’s next three Premier League outings following his petulant reaction to Erik Lamela which earned him a red card in the 6-1 loss to Spurs last time out.