Erik ten Hag is keen to keep Anthony Martial at Manchester United next season despite having made a world-class striker his main transfer target this summer.
United are looking to sign a striker in the summer window with Tottenham’s Harry Kane as their primary target. There is also interest in Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos.
But spending the money on a striker might not spell the end of Martial’s eight-year United career. Ten Hag is confident the Frenchman will stay fit enough to feature in his Old Trafford squad.
Martial was impressive against Sevilla on Thursday night as he made his first start in three months but was only able to last an hour as he recovered. He has only played more than 72 minutes once this season, hasn’t played 90 minutes for United since September 2021 and hasn’t done so in the Premier League since January 2021.
But he has seven goals and three assists in 859 minutes of football this season and Ten Hag is keen to bring him into next season despite fresh speculation over his future at the club as he makes 300 appearances.
When asked if Martial will still be at the club next season, Ten Hag replied: “From my point of view, yes.”
It came after another glowing assessment of the qualities he can bring to the club and he reiterated his view that Martial United do best when they play.
It was evident on Thursday when he had both Marcel Sabitzer’s goals in his sights and delivered an elegant performance with his link-up play and ball control.
Ten Hag believe Martial can play up front but see him as a striker and hope he can end his injury woes to become a first team player you can rely on.
“It’s hard to say because history [with injuries] says otherwise,” said Ten Hag. “I want him because I think he’s a great player – he certainly has the qualities to play in top football – and when he’s fit our team plays better.”
Martial has been unavailable 27 games this season with five separate issues, including hip, back, Achilles and hamstring problems. Since he joined the club in the summer of 2015, he has missed 77 games due to various injuries.