Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will pay close scrutiny to the performance of Anthony Martial when the Reds are next in action in a pre-season friendly against Kristiansund in Norway on Tuesday (6pm kick-off).
Marksman Martial, who is aged 23, hit a goal, as did Angel Gomes, in the 2-1 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur in China last time of asking to help United notch up four wins on the spin on the summer tour (those victories came against Perth Glory, Leeds United and Inter Milan).
And Solskjaer was very pleased with the all-round effort and ability from the French forward, who joined the Theatre of Dreams outfit from Monaco back in 2015. If he can replicate the scoring form against Spurs, he may have some answers as to his best starting eleven and formation as the big kick-off in the Premier League grows ever nearer.
Martial, who has been capped by the France national team 18 times, also hit the post in the triumph and his display earned him praise from the manager after the game during the press conference. As reported on the club’s official website, Solskjaer said:
“Yeah, he played well. He was unlucky a couple of times when he was played through by Andy Pereira — including that left-footed strike which hit the post. I don’t think it’s a foul when he closes the centre-back down too. So, it was a great workout by Anthony and I’m very happy with his performance.”
Solskjaer, said to be considering his options regards a list of potential recruits ahead of the new league season, also had kind words for the other scorer against the Lillywhites, Gomes. He added that his goal was “great” and observed some fantastic attributes from the attacking midfielder, who is aged only 18, and who signed for the club aged just six. He added:
“The little boy is bright and sharp. A great finish, so I’m delighted for him because he’s been, since day one, really sharp in pre-season so we have high hopes for him. All in all, the tour has been very good.”
Meanwhile, one player who the Old Trafford chief is more than likely going to be able to sign sooner rather than later is Leicester City defender Harry Maguire. And some media reports suggest that the Norwegian coach has asked United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to help get the deal done as soon as possible. Predictably, the stumbling block is the transfer fee and City are said to be unwilling to budge from the price of £80million for the former Sheffield United stopper. The fact that Eric Bailly was crocked in the win over Tottenham means that Solskjaer now has a more urgent need to acquire Maguire.