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Martial welcomes No.9 pressure at Man Utd & wants to mix beautiful goals with ugly ones

2:09 PM EDT 10/19/19
Anthony Martial Manchester United 2019-20
The French forward has recorded only two efforts so far in an injury-hit season and is aware of the expectation on him to become a prolific striker

Anthony Martial is aware of the pressure which accompanies being Manchester United’s No.9 and says he is ready to embrace it as he seeks to add more ugly goals to a collection of “beautiful” ones.

The Frenchman filled an iconic shirt upon arriving at Old Trafford, only to then see it passed to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku.

It was returned in his direction over the summer as a Belgium international striker was offloaded to Serie A giants Inter.

Martial started the 2019-20 brightly enough, recording two goals in as many appearances, but has not been seen since August 24 due to a niggling thigh complaint.

United have struggled for an attacking spark in his absence and, ahead of a potential return to action against Liverpool, the 23-year-old says he is ready to become a leading man.

He told the Red Devils’ official magazine: "Now that I've taken the No. 9 shirt back once again, all he [Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] has said to me is that I have a lot of responsibility and that I have to score goals, so that's what I am trying to do."

Martial has made a habit of netting spectacular efforts during his four seasons in England, but he is aware of the need to record a few more scrappier ones if he is to become a fearsome central striker.

He added: "We all prefer beautiful goals but, at the end of the day, a goal is still a goal.

"So, if I could score 30 goals like I scored in the game against Chelsea, I would take that right now!

"I guess I have tended to score quite nice goals and so, if I managed to score more of this kind of goal, in addition to the more spectacular ones, then I'd end up with a much higher goals total come the end of the season."

Martial’s first goal for United, which came on his debut back in September 2015, was a memorable solo effort against Liverpool and he will be hoping for more of the same if he does make Solskjaer’s starting XI on Sunday.

 “My favourite goal still has to be the one against Liverpool,” he said. 

“It was my first game and I was still discovering Old Trafford for the first time.

“It was a really magnificent goal and, more importantly, it meant that we went on to win the game. So, yes, that's the best.”