Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has quite a few problems to solve as the season prepares to resume after the World Cup break.
The January transfer window will give him the chance to look at adding a backup right-back, a position that was left vacant since the summer with the manager not deeming Aaron Wan-Bissaka good enough.
However, due to the summer splurge and the notoriously difficult winter window, adding an elite goalscorer will be easier said than done.
United’s striker search
United’s current options include Marcus Rashford, who is the club’s top scorer this season and will return to Old Trafford with renewed confidence after a brilliant World Cup where he notched three goals despite the lack of game time.
The other striker Ten Hag has is Anthony Martial. The Frenchman was close to departing the club but the arrival of the former Ajax boss changed his stance.
After a brilliant pre-season where he emerged as the top-scorer, the manager placed his faith in him as the starting striker only for his injury woes to return.
🎙️| Ten Hag on Anthony Martial: “The first challenge for him is to be available and fit which he has to be responsible for. But we have to support him in all the ways we can. We have seen that when he is available he has a massive impact on our game.” #mulive
— utdcrib (@utdcrib) December 11, 2022
Still his goals-to-minutes ratio remains exemplary — 292 minutes, four goals and two assists. And the United manager feels, irrespective of any additions, Martial has a major role to play.
“The first challenge for him is to be available and fit which he has to be responsible for. But we have to support him in all the ways we can,” he remarked.
“We have seen that when he is available he has a massive impact on our game,” the manager said at the end of the game.
Martial’s injury woes holding him back
The manager sympathized with his injury record but revealed that the Frenchman is happy at United and is desperate to rid himself of the constant niggles and carry on and build some momentum.
“I think he is, but he was so disappointed that he had bad luck with the injury,” Ten Hag said of Martial’s current happiness.
“In the past maybe it was something he did wrong, I don’t know, but now it was also bad luck and you come in a process from injuries and now we have to stop the process and we get him and he gets himself in a better position so that he’s fit and available. For his game and development and progress it would be great.”
The France international can be a world-beater on his day and United and Ten hag can benefit immensely from his style of play. The only thing stopping the striker is Martial himself. Can he finally reach his potential? Only time will tell.