Graeme Souness has hit out at Manchester United attacker Anthony Martial, who “represents a decade of poor football decisions”.
The Red Devils spent an initial fee of around £36m to sign Martial from Ligue Un side AS Monaco before the 2015/16 season when he was still an unknown quantity.
Martial has shown flashes of promise over the past nine seasons but he has been marred by injuries as he has overall failed to live up to expectations at Old Trafford.
The Frenchman had a loan spell at La Liga outfit Sevilla in 2021/22 but he was afforded a fresh start by Erik ten Hag before the 2022/23 campaign.
The 27-year-old has 11 goals in his 47 outings under Ten Hag. He has struggled to make an impact this season and it’s recently been reported that United will look to extend his contract until 2025 before selling him.
Martial was dragged off after an hour on Saturday night as Man Utd were beaten 1-0 by Newcastle United and Stephen Warnock has since accused him of having “no interest in football”.
Souness has now argued that Martial’s ill-fated situation at Man Utd tells you “what that club is all about”.
“Where Man United are. I’ll try, without waffling – I think you look no further than Martial for what that club is all about,” Souness said on talkSPORT.
“I used to write in The Sunday Times and about four or five years ago I wrote ‘This has to be Martial’s last chance saloon moment.’ They had given him another contract and he didn’t deserve one so by mentioning his name, what I mean is they have, for a decade, made consistently poor decisions in footballing matters.
“The most important thing you have to get right at a football club is your recruitment and then on top of that, who you think you can afford to sell, who’s no longer a Man United player, who’s not fit or good enough to be a Man United player, who doesn’t show the right attitude.
“These are things… you’re playing for Man United, you’re playing for that shirt, you’re playing for a club that stands for all the good things about football in their past.
“You’ve got players who are going through the motions now, now that comes back to the manager. Martial represents, for me, a decade of poor football decisions, the fact he’s still at the club.
“And I tell you what happens with the likes of Martial, you watch him in training one day and go, ‘Bloody hell he’s a player, there’s a real player in there.’
“But how many chances does he need to prove he’s a big-club player, his chance went five years ago, he shouldn’t be there, and he is just one of several major football decisions they’ve got wrong.”