“I am loving my time at this club. From the day I joined I have been made to feel part of the United family and I have been incredibly humbled and overwhelmed by the warmth and love of our fans, who continue to amaze me with their support. This club is all about winning trophies and I am sure the next piece of silverware is not that far away”, Anthony Martial said this January, after putting pen to paper, on a five-year deal that has ended all speculations of whether the French winger will stay at Old Trafford for much longer.
It was during the best days of the season for Man United fans, before performances went from great to poor once again and now, it is not a question of whether the player will stay, but rather – can he be the man to lead Man United to silverware?
Appearances across all competitions
Anthony Martial made a total of 38 appearances for Manchester United in 2018-19 season. He was not the most consistent in Premier League, with 18 starts and nine substitution appearances, while also adding eight matches in Champions League, two in FA Cup and one in League Cup. In all of those matches, Martial scored 12 goals and added two assists to go with it. With just 12 goal contributions, it is fair to say this was not his best season at Man United.
It was not even the best in goalscoring terms, not even in Premier League. He did reach double digits with 10 goals, but that was a goal shy of his debut season in English domestic league.
Did he perform above or below the expectations?
To make things worse, underlying metrics are suggesting Martial even overperformed his performances in the current season. His 10 goals in the league were decent, but amounting just 7.5 in expected goals shows that he was even a bit lucky to score that many goals. One of them came from a penalty and one was from long range – one of his numerous shots he was making from wide left, instead of getting into better positions to try and give himself a better chance of converting chances.
Yesterday we wrote about Rashford not making enough shots, averaging 3.2 per 90, but Martial is visibly worse in that regard. A winger that makes just 2.15 shots per 90 is not that great, especially when the player is not creating much for his teammates either.
Will he be a part of Manchester United during the 2019-20 season?
The same as with Rashford, this is the easiest question to answer. Martial will be a part of Manchester United during the 2019-20, which the recently signed contract confirms. The Frenchman is considered one of those players Man United could build the team around. For that to happen, his attitude must improve, as his blistering form made a huge turn to poor performances once he signed the new contract.
He must become a player able to both score and assist more than he has ever in his career before. At 23 and with space to grow as a player, such improvements should be expected.