Alan Shearer questioned Anthony Martial’s desire to get on the scoresheet after another goalless performance in Manchester United’s victory over Newcastle.
Martial failed to make any impact against Steve Bruce’s side and was belatedly substituted in the 70th minute for Mason Greenwood.
The French forward led the line in the absence of Edinson Cavani but again drew a blank, meaning he remains on just four Premier League goals this season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues to keep faith in Martial but some supporters have questioned the long-term sustainability of playing the 25-year-old as striker with his lack of movement often criticised.
Shearer, the Premier League’s all-time leading scorer, believes Martial’s slump in form is down to his own lack of hunger and desire rather than other circumstances.
“Only four leagues goals this season, not enough movement, he’s certainly not desperate enough to score goals,” he said on Match of the Day 2, as quoted by the Mirror.
“He spends far too much time in these positions (out wide), when they need to have someone in the box.
“There’s no focal point, there’s no one there to hold the ball up. He should realise he should get out of there and get into the box.
“I don’t think it means enough to him to go and put that ball into the back of the net.
“He’s only ever scored more than 20 goals in one season, and that’s not all league goals.
“When you consider that Man United are top scorers in the Premier League with 53, and he’s got four, I don’t think that’s anywhere near enough.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a lack of experience. This is his sixth season at Manchester United. I wouldn’t say a lack of experience is a problem at all, I would say it’s his lack of hunger and lack of desire to get in there to constantly score goals you need to.
Martial has netted just seven times in all competitions this season while Marcus Rashford have a combined total of 40 goals.
Solskjaer will be hoping for the imminent return of Cavani, who missed Sunday’s win over the Magpies and the Europa League dismantling of Real Sociedad in Turin three days earlier.
Cavani could return to United’s starting lineup on Sunday as the Reds travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the league.