Anthony Martial injury: Manchester United striker's hamstring problem to be assessed before Arsenal game

18-year-old Marcus Rashford, Martial's replacement in the starting line-up, scored twice on his first senior appearance

Louis van Gaal will assess the extent of Anthony Martial’s hamstring strain on Friday before deciding whether Europa League goalscoring hero Marcus Rashford will face a Premier League debut against Arsenal on Sunday.

Manchester-born Rashford, 18, scored twice on his first senior appearance for United against Danish champions FC Midtjylland as Van Gaal’s team progressed to the last 16 with a 5-1 win and 6-3 aggregate victory.

But the home-grown youngster only started against Midtjylland because of Martial suffering his injury during he pre-match warm-up at Old Trafford.

With Arsenal due to face United on Sunday afternoon, Van Gaal admits he has yet to discover whether Martial will be fit to return.

“The first impression is it’s not heavy (serious),” Van Gaal said. “Anthony is tired and he can be tired because he is 20 and he has played all the matches.

“What is remarkable is he stepped down himself. I couldn’t believe it was happening again, it is unbelievable, the only other muscle injury is Marouane Fellaini.

“But I think he (Martial) is smart and he's wise to step out because it was not a rupture or something like that. He had a tight hamstring so I don't think it's very heavy.”

Martial’s injury meant Van Gaal was without 14 first-team players Midtjylland.

But the United manager admitted that Rashford was ‘brilliant’ after answering the call to inspire the team into the next round.

“Marcus I’ve said already a lot of times, that’s fantastic for him, but you have to be consistent,” Van Gaal said. “We are looking for consistent strikers and there are not so many on this Earth, but he gave a brilliant performance.

“But I didn’t have another option, so it was easy. He was there on the bench because he was the natural sub for Martial.

“It was unbelievable for him. In the first-half he ran too much at the sidelines and I said to him at half-time you have to be in the width of the goal and then you shall score.

“And then you see there that he scores two goals. It is fantastic for him. “

United face Arsenal in a game that is crucial for their ambitions of securing Champions League qualification through the Premier League and Van Gaal insists the squad must overcome the mounting injury problems.

“We have to play against Arsenal within two days,” Van Gaal said. “It's more or less not good to do because your players have to recover.

“But we have to cope with that. We play Arsenal and I hope it shall be a very good match.”

Comments