Former Chelsea, Arsenal and France defender William Gallas has launched a stinging critique of compatriot Anthony Martial after the Manchester United forward was left out of Didier Deschamps’ squad for this summer’s World Cup.
The former AS Monaco player saw his game time drop dramatically after United signed Alexis Sanchez from the Gunners in January, and whilst he contributed three more goals than he managed in Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge, his 11 goals in 45 games aren’t hugely impressive. Indeed, Mourinho has frequently chosen the misfiring Sanchez and Jesse Lingard as his preferred support for Romelu Lukaku, with Marcus Rashford similarly finding starting opportunities limited.
Gallas, in quotes given to Goal.com carried by Sports Mole was less-than forgiving when it came to Martial’s exclusion from France’s World Cup plans:
“I don’t feel sorry for him because he had the opportunity. He was in the squad many times before. I think he missed his chance go to the World Cup.
“He didn’t perform at his best for the whole season. To go to the World Cup, you have to perform all season. You can’t be up and down, that’s what has made the difference. He is still young and maybe he will learn. He has great quality and it is a shame for him.”
Gallas isn’t necessarily wrong with this critique; Martial struggled for form in the second half of the season, but crucially, he was far from the only United player to do so as Mourinho’s side were wildly inconsistent after the turn of the year. Not only that, Martial only made 18 league starts all term, so one could argue that the opportunities needed to gain consistency and form eluded him once Sanchez was established as a starter.
Martial’s future at United is still unclear, but plenty of the club’s fans would love to see a player with his gifts succeed at Old Trafford, given that he could legitimately lay claim to being United’s most naturally gifted forward.