Manchester United legend Gary Neville has claimed that his former side would be unwise to swap out-of-favour forward Anthony Martial for Tottenham’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Martial’s United future looks to be on a cliff edge after an underwhelming start to the season, with fierce competition set to limit the on-pitch time he has left to prove himself in front of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Questions are being asked about what United should be doing differently in light of their poor recent run of form.
The embarrassing Champions League defeat at Swiss minnows Young Boys kick-started a torrid run which has seen them lose three of their past four games.
After Saturday’s defeat to Aston Villa, Solskjaer must now return to the drawing board in order to coax more out of his supremely talented squad.
With things clearly not going to plan, Neville was asked on social media whether United should entertain the idea of swapping Martial for Hojbjerg.
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Although the prospective trade would replace someone United don’t need with someone they do, there is something to be said for the value which Martial still commands in the transfer market.
The peak of his career at Old Trafford yielded a season-best total of 17 Premier League goals in 2019/20, although there was still a feeling that England had not seen the best of him.
His high ceiling in terms of potential means there are sure to be sides out there prepared to take an expensive gamble, but the level of competition in United’s squad means he is unlikely to be given the chance to return to his best form under Solskjaer.
Spots at striker are occupied by Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani, and while Martial was given a rare chance through the middle against West Ham last week, he failed to capitalise.
On the wing, he will have to compete with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, meaning he could quickly find himself at the bottom of the pecking order.
With this in mind, it could be best for the Frenchman’s career if he was given an opportunity to jump ship, and Neville clearly concurs.
Unfortunately, United’s former right-back dished out two insults in one sentence by snubbing the possibility of Hojbjerg representing adequate compensation for letting Martial go.
The Spurs midfielder has had a good start to his career in north London, but perhaps needs to show more before making the jump up to a title-challenging club like United, at least in Neville’s eyes.