Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has noticed a marked improvement in Manchester United striker Anthony Martial this season.
Martial changed the game in the 2-2 draw against Southampton on Monday, setting up Marcus Rashford for an equaliser with fantastic hold-up play before cutting in to fire United ahead in the first-half.
The Frenchman has been entrusted to play down the middle as United’s main striker this term and has repaid the faith shown in him by Solskjaer, netting 21 times in all competitions.
The exit of prolific goalscorer Romelu Lukaku last summer without a replacement being brought in prompted plenty of questions over the vulnerability of United’s frontline under Solskjaer.
And Martial has long been criticised for a lack of work-rate and synergy with his fellow teammates.
But Solskjaer has noticed the 24-year-old improve as a team player this season, and is impressed by the commitment he is now giving to the team.
“He’s definitely developing, improving and enjoying his football,” Solskjær said in Wednesday morning’s press conference, as quoted by the Guardian.
“He’s stepped it up as an individual and more as a team player, and physically.
“I remember there were talks about our forwards being the least active [in the league] and there were stats flying around but Anthony is now working really hard for the team and is a quality finisher.”
Martial’s goal return, alongside a development in his overall game has solidified Solskjaer’s belief that he has found his number nine for the foreseeable future in his Old Trafford rebuild.
Odion Ighalo is providing adequate cover for the Frenchman, but United would still benefit from the addition of a quality forward this summer for further competition for places.