Man Utd star rejected Lyon return on deadline day

Date published: Wednesday 1st September 2021 9:55 - Will Ford

Anthony Martial Manchester United

Manchester United forward Antony Martial reportedly rejected the opportunity to rejoin Lyon on deadline day, to fight for a starting spot at Old Trafford.

The Frenchman has been frequently criticised for his form in a United shirt for some time now and may find game time hard to come by with the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Jadon Sancho has also joined the club this summer, giving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a number of options in the forward positions.

READ MORE: Transfer deadline day: Relive all the comings and goings

And Lyon made a late play for the 25-year-old on deadline day, hoping to secure a loan move, according to L’Equipe.

Martial began his career at Lyon, progressing through the Ligue 1 side’s academy before being signed by Monaco for €5m after just one season in the Lyon first team.

United then signed the forward – who was still a teenager – in 2015 for £55m.

Martial still has three years left on his deal at Old Trafford, with the option of a one-year extension.

The forward has been involved in all three of United’s opening Premier League games of the season but is yet to notch a goal or an assist.

And with Edinson Cavani now returning to full fitness and Ronaldo set to join the squad, Martial’s minutes are likely to become more limited as the season progresses.

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand is running out of patience with Martial.

“I think the most frustrating thing about him is that he’s actually gone backwards from when he first signed,” Ferdinand said.

“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.”


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