LOUIS Van Gaal feels Anthony Martial’s long-term role will be as a striker, but the Manchester United boss has a tough call to make tonight when he decides to stick with captain Wayne Rooney in a mis-firing attack.
Martial has scored five goals this season since his shock move to Old Trafford for huge money from Monaco for someone so inexperienced and Alan Pardew told us yesterday ‘stop the French kid and you stop United’.
It’s been easier to stop the 19-year-old when Van Gaal sticks him out on the left wing, so the Dutch coach has a big call to make ahead of tonight’s Champions League opponents CSKA Moscow.
“He is very young but I think it is better he develops in the striker’s position,” Van Gaal told reporters in his pre-match press conference with his comments on the BBC sports web site today.
Van Gaal is using him in a variety of roles while Rooney continues to lead an attack that hasn’t scored for three games, and cannot continue this way with so many experts believing its time for Rooney to drop back and Martial to lead the attack, but Van Gaal says: “But he can play left, striker and number 10.”
“He doesn’t want to play number seven [wide right] but I am convinced he can. That’s another story.”
The Dutch coach also repeated his confidence in Rooney, who has now turned 30, despite the striker scoring only two Premier League goals this season.
He said: “It is always Wayne Rooney, but I can imagine that it is because Wayne Rooney is a fantastic player so the expectation is much higher than another player in another club.
“I have confidence in this player. He gives more than just scoring goals, he’s our captain and also an example for our whole team. He has more credits than any other player.”