Rio Ferdinand thinks Man Utd forward Anthony Martial has managed to go “backwards” despite having the potential to be “one of the best”.
The Frenchman had an exceptional end to the 2019/20 campaign, giving Red Devils fans hope that he could fulfil his potential and become a reliable centre forward.
Martial could only bag four Premier League goals the following season, though, leading to Paul Scholes saying that he “almost conned” Man Utd fans into thinking he was the answer to their lack of a “top-class No. 9”.
There was little improvement when the 25-year-old started his first game of the season in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side’s 1-1 draw with Southampton over the weekend.
And Ferdinand is running out of patience with the Man Utd forward but hopes he can still turn it around at Old Trafford.
“I think the most frustrating thing about him is that he’s actually gone backwards from when he first signed,” said Ferdinand on Vibe with FIVE.
“If you’re a player and you look at when he hit the scene with the two goals against Liverpool and you think to yourself, ‘Wow what have we signed here?’. He’s not really hit those heights since.
“As a player I’d love to be able to get inside his head and spend time with him. Everything thinks they can affect someone with a conversation.
“You’d be saying to him, ‘Are you actually happy with what you’re doing, are you happy with your trajectory of how it’s going?’. It’s gone here ‘rose up’ and it’s slowly like this [going down].
“Talent wise, from what I’m told from people, I remember Michael Carrick first went in and saw him and said, ‘Rio, this kid could be one of the best players on the planet easy, some of the stuff he does in training takes your breath away’.
“But sometimes there are players who are great in training but don’t replicate enough in games. I hope he’s not going down [that route].
“He’s still young enough to change it by the way but I don’t know what he needs, a rocket, or he needs someone in the changing room to be getting hold of him and demanding standards every single day and every single game.
“That’s what the big players do. There’s players in that changing room who don’t accept below-par performances on a regular basis, or something short of what your standard is.
“We’ve seen his standard, he’s not playing to it, someone get after him, that’s what’s needed.”