‘He doesn’t look in love with the game’: Roy Keane and Graeme Souness cast doubts over Anthony Martial’s commitment after Frenchman didn’t start in Man United’s draw with Chelsea despite Edinson Cavani’s absence
Roy Keane and Graeme Souness both questioned Anthony Martial’s emotional commitment to football, and said they believe the Frenchman has the talent but lacks the desire to be a top-class player.
Both pundits were speaking in the aftermath of Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea on Sunday, one of the Red Devil’s biggest games with regard to the Premier League title race and Champions League qualification.
Martial, 25, was omitted from the starting line-up despite forward Edinson Cavani being injured. Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Daniel James began the game, with Martial coming on with 11 minutes to go.
Roy Keane and Graeme Souness have questioned Anthony Martial’s commitment to football
Both Keane (L) and Souness (R) agreed that Martial lacked passion for the professional game
Souness suggested Martial may not even be concerned that he isn’t starting in the biggest games.
‘I’m not surprised you leave him out,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘I think he’s a young man with talent to succeed at the highest level… but will he be disappointed he’s not playing today?
‘Does he ever show he’s got a real passion for the game? Does he ever play, get emotional about the game? I’ve never seen it.
‘He’s one of those players who’s going to end up looking back at his career and thinking he could have done so much more. I’m a fan but I’m not a fan.’
Souness said one of United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s biggest challenges is ‘to keep the fire under Martial because he had a good end of the season. But I don’t think that’s happened.’
The 25-year-old has had a poor season, scoring just four goals in 21 Premier League matches
Martial (left) was dropped to the bench for United’s crucial top-four clash against Chelsea
Martial has had a poor season so far, netting just four times in 21 Premier League appearances, and has three goals in his last 13 appearances in all competitions.
Fellow pundit and ex-United captain Keane offered similar concerns saying that Martial ‘doesn’t look like he loves that game. That’s always a worry.’
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, also in the Sky Sports studio, suggested Martial had different priorities to scoring goals when he plays.
‘ I think for him its more important to go past three players and talk about that, he said.
‘You know, look how I got past two or three players but not put the ball in the net. I think that is more important for him, that’s the perception that I get from him.’