Erik ten Hag has expressed his hope that Anthony Martial can stay fit this season, after training with the squad in the United States on Monday.
The France international has not featured in our three pre-season fixtures so far, because he has been recovering from the hamstring injury that he suffered during June’s Emirates FA Cup final.
Martial made a positive impression on Ten Hag during our Tour 2022 campaign last summer, but he unfortunately struggled to maintain full fitness during the competitive campaign, making 29 appearances and scoring nine goals in total.
When he is 100 per cent, Anthony’s quality is unquestionable and the manager has previously stated we play our best football with the no.9 in the team.
During a press conference in San Diego on Monday, to preview our upcoming fixtures against Wrexham and Real Madrid, Ten Hag gave an update on the striker’s condition this summer.
“Today he was in the team training, so that is really hopeful,” said Erik. “And, yeah, of course, when you have player in a squad you expect that he is available and then the players have to take the responsibility to be available.
“But when he’s not I have to deal with the situation and we show that we also then can be successful without that striker. But yeah, of course, it’s more easy when you have that striker in your team because I think every club who wins big trophies has scoring abilities in that team.”
When asked if Martial is part of his plans for the season, Erik said:
“We need a good squad and Anthony Martial is a brilliant football player and so he will help us.
“He scored goals and also in other areas of football like pressing, in possession, combinations, he’s a great player and, yeah, let’s hope he will be fit and he stays fit.”
Of course, it has been well documented that Ten Hag is looking for a striker in the transfer window and the search is ongoing. “We make progress, yeah, but you know how it works. When we have him, we will tell you.”