A former Old Trafford favourite thinks the Frenchman can still be a “great option” for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2021-22
Dimitar Berbatov has warned Anthony Martial off a potential transfer to Inter, insisting he should “stay at Manchester United and challenge himself”.
United invested an initial fee of £36 million ($50m) to bring Martial to Old Trafford from Monaco in 2015, and he finished his first season as the club’s top scorer with 17 goals, including a stunning debut effort against Liverpool to endear himself to supporters.
Unfortunately, the Frenchman has been unable to take his game to the next level since then, and is now being strongly linked with a move to Inter, but Berbatov would like him to stay in Manchester and prove he deserves a place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI.
What’s been said?
Berbatov believes Martial may be taking Inter’s reported interest seriously due to the possibility of Jadon Sancho’s arrival at United from Borussia Dortmund pushing him down the squad pecking order.
However, the former Red Devils striker has urged the 25-year-old to embrace the extra competition, telling Betfair: “Anthony Martial is probably thinking that he is in a bit of a difficult situation because with, Sancho coming to United, the Frenchman’s playing time is going to be reduced.
“I have no doubt that this will be going through his mind right now, he will be questioning himself asking: ‘Do I stay and fight for my position, or should I start to look to move to a team where I will play more regularly?’
“Inter would not be the best place for Martial. His playing style is very technical and he suits going one-on-one with defenders. I would like him to stay at United and challenge himself. If he can show what he can do in training and then in games then I think he will be fine and he is another great option for United to have.
“I hope he can stay fit, because he’s had a few [injuries] in the past and this can put a real stop on the development of a player.”
Martial’s record at United
Martial has found the net 78 times in his first 258 games for United across all competitions, while also recording 50 assists.
The France international has also helped the club win FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League honours, but the 2020-21 season was his worst yet in terms of impact in the final third as he managed to score just seven goals in 36 appearances.
Berbatov on the Red Devils’ title chances
Berbatov went on to express his belief that Solskjaer’s side can launch a genuine Premier League title challenge after signing Sancho and Raphael Varane, who is expected to complete his switch from Real Madrid in the coming days.
“Manchester United are in a strong position to challenge for the title, especially after the signings they’ve made this summer,” he said. “I am very happy that they are bringing in Raphael Varane from Real Madrid. He is a World Cup and Champions League winner, he has a winning mentality and he has played with the best over the years.
“So, he is a great signing and I am looking forward to seeing how he is going to settle into the team and compliment Harry Maguire.
“Jadon Sancho is already good friends with the England players in United’s squad, which is a great thing to have when you go into a new team. Hopefully, this is going to help him settle quickly.
“We already know about his quality, but there’s still plenty of room for him to grow and hopefully at United, one of the biggest clubs in the world, he can fulfil his potential. I’m sure he is also going to push the other forwards to perform better too. That tends to happen when you have a player of great quality next to you, you lift your game.”
Asked if United will bring in any more new faces, Berbatov responded: “The United team is in a good place. They have spent quite a lot of money already and I can’t see them spending anymore. They could possibly look to strengthen in the right-back position.
“Aaron Wan-Bissaka is definitely first choice but I would like to see him have a solid backup who will challenge and push him. Other than that, I think they are pretty complete as a team.”