'Martial almost conned us!' - Scholes calls for Man Utd to sign a top-class striker

Anthony Martial Man Utd 2020-21Getty Images

Manchester United still need a "top-class No.9", according to Paul Scholes, who says Martial "almost conned" fans into thinking he was the answer until his poor start to the 2020-21 season.

Martial posted the best scoring numbers of his career last term, hitting 23 goals in 48 appearances across all competitions.

His form post-lockdown was particularly impressive as the Red Devils stormed to a third-place Premier League finish, with Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood completing a deadly front three alongside the Frenchman.

However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men haven't been able to carry that momentum into their latest campaign, losing two of their opening three top-flight fixtures.

Martial has yet to open his account, with United becoming heavily reliant on the penalty-taking abilities of Bruno Fernandes amid struggles to carve out clear-cut chances in the final third of the pitch.

Rashford has one goal to his name, while Greenwood scored in a Carabao Cup third-round win against Luton Town. However, a 6-1 defeat at home to Tottenham before the international break raised more doubts over the Red Devils' attacking output.

Scholes, who has suggested United should have targeted Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland instead of his team-mate Jadon Sancho in the summer transfer window, doesn't think Martial is capable of leading the line for his old club in the long-term, despite his impressive individual ability.

"These forwards are exceptionally talented lads. We all know that," the Class of '92 treble winner told Stadium Astro.

"The problem with United’s forwards is that none of them is an actual centre-forward.

"Martial almost conned us into thinking he was one at the end of last season because he scored so many goals and was quite good.

"He’s started this season quite poorly again, which makes you think he isn’t. It’s misleading. That’s why I’ve kept saying we need a top-class No. 9."

Solskjaer was able to add former Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani to his ranks on deadline day, but Harry Redknapp has been among those to label the Norwegian's latest signing as a huge "gamble" given the fact he turns 34 in February.

United are due back in Premier League action on Saturday, with a trip to St James' Park to face Newcastle on the cards.