Anthony Martial is still not “an out-and-out striker”, admits Rene Meulensteen, with Manchester United told that the Frenchman is more effective on the flanks.
The talented 25-year-old, who has just two goals to his name this season, has spent much of his career to date operating in a wide role.
United deployed him in that position when doing a big-money deal with Monaco in 2015, with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku operating down the middle.
They did, however, hand their France international a No.9 shirt and a central striking berth at the start of the 2019-20 campaign.
Martial rewarded that show of faith with a career-best return of 23 goals, but questions have continued to be asked of whether he is a long-term option to lead the line.
A disappointing output in 2020-21, along with the arrival of Edinson Cavani, is leading to more calls for tactical tinkering.
Meulensteen is among those who feel that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should move Martial back to the left wing, despite Marcus Rashford being a regular in that berth, with a dip in form suggesting that change is required.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s former right-hand man at Old Trafford told Stadium Astro: “It’s never nice when players hit a little bit of a spell with a lack of form.
“I don’t think he is playing as much as he did last year, when he started a lot of games up front.
“I think with strikers, you have got chances that you could score and you get chances that you should score.
“There are certain moments where he could have scored, but more than anything there are big chances – like the one against Paris Saint-Germain, those are the ones you should score. If he had scored against Paris Saint-Germain, they would have won the game.
“Martial is a good player and I still think that his best position is on the left-hand side coming in, I don’t think he’s an out-and-out striker.”
Martial has started six Premier League games for United this season, and was moved wide for a 3-1 win over West Ham on Saturday, but is still waiting on a first top-flight goal of the campaign – with both of his efforts to date coming in the Champions League.