Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer already knows Anthony Martial transfer upgrade

Man Utd: Solskjaer admits Fernandes may need rest

After scoring 23 goals last season, this was meant to be Anthony Martial’s year. The France international showed he was capable of leading the Manchester United line last term following the departure of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan. But with the forward struggling, it’s clear to see why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is so eager to bring Erling Haaland to Old Trafford.

Last year, United gambled.

Though Lukaku had done well enough at Old Trafford, Solskjaer decided to cut the Belgium international loose.

The Norwegian felt the striker didn’t fit in at the club. He wanted flying forwards, not a target man. So he sanctioned a £75million departure.

In the aftermath, United were linked with strikers aplenty.

But, rather than delving deep into the club’s finances, Solskjaer instead decided to give Martial a chance to prove his worth.

In order to give the France international more confidence and motivation, he even gave the 25-year-old his No 9 shirt back.

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Martial had been devastated when Jose Mourinho stripped him of the jersey in 2016, handing it to Zlatan Ibrahimovic who arrived on a free transfer from PSG.

So this was the return of Martial, the centre-forward. Now, playing in his No 9 role, there would be no excuses for his inconsistency.

Fortunately for the Red Devils, he stepped up last term.

Things were looking bleak for United when Marcus Rashford sustained a serious back injury in a 1-0 win over Wolves last January, with the Red Devils having only young players at their disposal to fill the void.

But Martial stepped up and, when Rashford returned, the two forged one of the best partnerships in the Premier League.

His 23 goals was certainly respectable, more than any other player for the Red Devils. But, this season, he’s regressed.


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He has scored just twice in domestic matches this term – against Sheffield United and Everton at Brammall Lane and Goodison Park respectively.

And it’s clear to see exactly why Solskjaer is keen to sign Haaland.

It’s an open secret the Norwegian dreams of securing the signature of his compatriot, despite missing out on a deal 12 months ago.

Solskjaer jetted out to Austria when Haaland was at Red Bull Salzburg – and a time where you could fly around the world at your leisure.

He left with the impression the youngster would move to Old Trafford. But then, unfortunately for United, Mino Raiola got involved.

Raiola shifted the goalposts, demanding a clause be installed into his contract that would make it easier for his client to leave the club.

Sensing Real Madrid, Barcelona and other European titans would likely be interested in Haaland further down the line, it was a tactical move.

And it was one that United refused to go along with.

The rest, of course, is history. Haaland has been a huge hit with Dortmund, scoring 10 goals from nine Bundesliga matches at the current moment in time.

So with Martial misfiring, it’s likely Solskjaer will push to sign him when the transfer window reopens at the end of the campaign.

It won’t certainly won’t be easy. But that’s the Norwegian’s dream.

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