Manchester United return for their first Premier League game since the World Cup on Tuesday, with Anthony Martial set to be their first-choice striker following Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit..
Anthony Martial has revealed that Bruno Fernandeshas promised to provide him with “lots of assists” as Manchester United prepare to return to Premier League action.
The Red Devils host Nottingham Forest on Tuesday in their first top-flight match since the World Cup. With Cristiano Ronaldo having departed Old Trafford before the tournament, Martial is likely to be United’s first-choice striker, if he stays fit.
He has so far notched four goals in eight games in all competitions and will need to impress with United set to explore the possibility of signing a striker in January. To help him with that, Martial has now revealed that he has the backing of Fernandes.
The Portuguese midfielder has captained United for much of the season, with Harry Maguire out of favour. He also takes on the role of creator-in-chief, notching three assists so far this term.
He has combined with Martial to great effect already this season, laying on the assist for the Frenchman’s goal against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup. And setting Martial up for goals is something Fernandes has promised will continue.
“We always had that connection between us and we both just have to keep working to improve it. Well, that is something we always talk about. As he left to take part in the World Cup, I was telling him to make sure that he comes home in good shape,” Martial told MUTV..
And he would say, of course, lots of assists are coming your way. That’s one of the things about sport, that chat. It’s very important to have good connections on the pitch. You always want to know where your team-mate is and where he’s going to run into space.
“For example, he knows very well that I might go to take the ball at someone’s feet, and he will run deep. It’s that kind of little connection that helps you get to know the playing style of your partner. One to evolve and, two, to help the team improve.”
Boss Erik ten Hag has already expressed his happiness with Martial’s performances so far this season. Back in November, the Dutchman made it clear that he is an admirer of the French striker.
He is a target, he can link up, but he can also run behind. ‘He has speed, he can finish, and he has good pressure.”
United can close the gap on fourth-place Tottenham to one point in the race to finish in the Champions League places with a win over Forest. The Red Devils are the lowest scorers in the top eight though, with pressure now on Martial to step up after Ronaldo’s exit.