Manchester United news: Jose Mourinho concerned with Anthony Martial's state of mind

The Frenchman has only found the net twice this season

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The Independent Online

Jose Mourinho is worried about the mindset of forward Anthony Martial after yet another disappointing performance for Manchester United against Arsenal on Saturday.

Martial burst onto the scene following his initial £36.3m move from Monaco in 2015 by scoring a memorable goal against Liverpool, the first of 17 he netted that season.

Despite these goals and being one of the only bright sparks of a disappointing season, Louis van Gaal insisted he had signed the Frenchman for his successor, and not for himself.

However, with only two goals this season, one a penalty against Fenerbahce and the other a stunning strike against Stoke, Mourinho is yet to benefit from Martial.

According to The Telegraph, Mourinho has been concerned about Martial’s state of mind and thinks events in his private life are affected his on-field performances.

The 20-year-old split from his partner, Samantha Jacquelinet, Mourinho has taken a number of different approaches to try and refocus Martial, from a soft tactic to putting considerable pressure on him before games to perform, report the newspaper.

Martial’s distractions have not escaped the notice of national team coach Didier Deschamps either, with the United man missing from the France squad to face Sweden and Ivory Coast this month.

He said: “His club coach expects more from him and so do I.

“I have not forgotten what he has done or what he is capable of doing, but it’s up to him to make efforts to find his best form. He is not at the level where he should be.”

Martial’s transfer fee could rise by another €30m should he scored eight more United goals, represent France 10 more times and earn a Ballon d’Or nomination, all of which are looking desperately unlikely this term.

Former Red Devil Gary Neville was also highly critical of Martial on Saturday, suggesting the furore surrounding Wayne Rooney has seen the former Monaco striker’s performances overlooked.

“He’ll be grateful the spotlight is on Rooney,” Neville said. “He’s got to produce a lot more. He doesn’t look happy at times, he needs more energy and dynamism in his game. He’s got to go more to get into the game, especially when the ball is not near him.

 

“I think Martial has gone under the radar and needs to start delivering because some of the performances I’ve seen have been nowhere near good enough, his work rate hasn’t been good enough as far as I can see.

“United signed a player 18 months ago for £55m and to be honest in the last six, seven, eight months he’s not delivered. He certainly has a lot of question marks.”

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