Anthony Martial ranked 9th among Premier League players who needs to up their performance for this coming season, according to Football Weeks.
Martial was hardly the only Manchester United player Jose Mourinho criticised last season, but the Frenchman was perhaps, the most the curious case. Received cautions on more than one occasion, the forward nevertheless registered 41 appearances across all competition for the Red Devils last season.
Reports in the last couple of weeks have suggested he could be used as a makeweight in the proposed United’s deal to sign Inter Milan’s and Croatian international Ivan Perisic this summer. Even though it’s unlikely that such arrangement will come to pass. United’s target would appear his position is under threat. Martial will therefore need to make the most of the opportunities that come his way in this upcoming season.
The things Mourinho likes, what he expects from his players, are no secret. The former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager demands wholehearted commitment, tactical discipline and defensive work rate, no matter which position the player in question plays.
The 21-year-old showed few of these last season, to the Portuguese boss obvious chagrin. At times he was infuriatingly passive, lacking the verve and vigour that he exuded a year earlier. Though always outwardly serene, his on-field displays in 2015/16 at least betrayed an inner ferocity.