Anthony Martial has played some of his best football in the last year.
France captain Hugo Lloris believes Martial’s confidence has increased since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became Manchester United, while coach Didier Deschamps feels the forward has become more consistent.
I would agree on both accounts because Jose Mourinho was clearly the wrong man to get the best out of Martial, whereas Solskjaer being a former striker seems to have a greater understanding with those players.
Lloris has seen a difference in his France team-mate.
“I didn’t know if it’s related to his relationship with Solskjaer. We can see he is more confident,” the Tottenham goalkeeper told reporters ahead of France’s UEFA Nations Leaguer tie against Croatia on Tuesday, as per Football.London.
“There is a very good understanding with the players around him, at Manchester United.
“He will be expected, he will have to confirm his good season. He is committed to doing well for five, 10 minutes, a half or a whole game.”
Although our main focus will always be United, it’s good to see Martial back in a France shirt. A player with his quality should get plenty of international caps but his career has seen a number of ups and downs early on.
He is in the process of getting back into Deschamps’ plans, and the France manager is impressed by the former AS Monaco star’s improvement.
“He’s capable of playing in the wing also, but in Manchester he’s really a number nine,” he said (via GOAL).
“He may not have the typical profile of a centre-forward although he has that versatility there. In recent months he has gained in regularity and consistency.”
Today, France take on Croatia for the first time since they beat them 4-2 in the 2018 World Cup final. Martial missed out on the squad for that tournament which is something he won’t want to experience again.
The French will be without star man Kylian Mbappe, who has tested positive for coronavirus, and left the camp. He will also miss the start of PSG’s Ligue 1 campaign, missing games against Lens and Marseille.
On top of that, Paul Pogba and Tottenham’s Tanguy Ndombele were both faced to withdraw from international duty before Saturday’s 1-0 win over Sweden after testing positive for coronavirus.
It kicks off at 7.45pm BST and will be shown live on Sky Sports Red Button (coverage on Sky begins at 7pm).