‘Pogba & Fernandes can make Martial a killer striker’ – Saha salutes Man Utd’s No.9

Anthony Martial Manchester United
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The former Red Devils frontman believes a fellow Frenchman can take his game to even greater heights with the assistance of talented playmakers

Anthony Martial can become a “killer” striker at Manchester United with the help of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, says Louis Saha.

A France international has been freed to occupy a central attacking berth at Old Trafford this season.

Much of his senior career to date has been spent occupying a role on the flanks, with his pace and direct running allowing him to thrive out wide.

United did, however, take the decision to part with Romelu Lukaku in the summer of 2019 and needed somebody to fill their No.9 shirt while becoming a focal point in the final third of the field.

Martial has taken on that responsibility and rewarded a sizeable show of faith with a career-best return of 22 goals.

At 24 years of age, there is still plenty of potential to unlock in his game and Saha believes a fellow countryman can benefit from having talented playmakers providing him with ammunition.

The former United frontman told the club’s official website of Martial: “It’s fair to say Anthony is in the form of his life, for me.

“He’s definitely a player that excites me as a fan and an ex-player. I have been in that position where Anthony is, in that No.9 shirt, and I understand the pressure behind it.

“But I like his reaction; his desire to hurt defenders in many ways.

“He has the quality as well to score 25+ goals and, when you see the goals he’s scoring, not everybody can do that.

“I am just a massive fan of his and just wish him to have that consistently, to believe he can reach even higher heights because he’s got too much potential to stop there.

“People may assume this is his top form but I’m not sure because, when you look at his quality, he has definitely improved his positioning and his killer instinct.

“He is really getting there. We can always look for improvement and it’s more about switching on sometimes, as I like to think of it. I was the same.

"If it’s something he can address, it will make him more of a killer player because you now have players like Bruno Fernandes, who is going to challenge Paul Pogba in terms of creativity in midfield.

“Imagine how much you have to be on your toes as a striker because, if the ball comes from Fernandes, one touch, the ball could come to you.

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“It’s the same with Pogba, so you have to find a way to get really busy and appreciate the fact that you need to create space all the time.

“This is the only thing I can see he will need to improve – not because the player can’t but because the players now around him are so adept at passing the ball.”

Martial’s efforts have helped to fire United into contention for a top-four finish in the Premier League, while their attention is about to shift to the pursuit of major silverware and an FA Cup semi-final date with Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.