Manchester United

Erik ten Hag insists Man Utd will be 'careful' with Anthony Martial's fitness

Jamie Spencer
Anthony Martial is back after an injury-hit start to the season
Anthony Martial is back after an injury-hit start to the season / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has revealed his plan to be ‘careful’ with Anthony Martial following his return to fitness, but has hinted at a major role for the Frenchman.

Despite posting a 23-goal season in 2019/20, Martial appeared to be at the end of the road for United when he joined Sevilla on loan in January after an 18-month spell yielding only eight goals.

With a change of manager came the chance of a fresh start, only for hamstring and Achilles issues to derail his first few weeks of the new campaign. But Martial showed promise with 45 minutes and an assist against Liverpool in August, before netting twice off the bench in the Manchester derby at the weekend and making the score-line slightly less embarrassing.

With Cristiano Ronaldo still out of favour and United otherwise lacking a proper ‘number nine’ in a sea of wide forwards, Martial is primed to become a key player once more…if he can stay fit.

“We are happy he’s back. But we will take it careful, step by step, in a process to bring him back,” Ten Hag explained in a club media interview.

“He [has] played now almost a half, so 35 minutes, which is good, and now we have to extend that. But [we will do that] from game to game, and we have a lot of games to cover.”

Listen now to 90min's Manchester United podcast, The Promised Land, with Scott Saunders & Rob Blanchette. In the latest episode they discuss the fallout from the heavy Manchester derby defeat and whether Bruno Fernandes warrants some time on the bench.

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