Anthony Martial is emerging from a difficult time in his private life and Jose Mourinho had his concerns about the Frenchman, according to reports.
According to the Guardian, the United boss has backed Martial to get back to his best, admitting he is a rare talent but must work hard to reach his potential.
In April, it emerged that the 20-year-old had split from his wife and mother of his baby daughter after three years together. Although he ended the season well with the Red Devils, a dramatic slump followed.
Martial was named as one of our five biggest disappointments of Mourinho’s era so far in our feature on Tuesday.
And in claiming that Mourinho had concerns over Martial’s well being, The Times told it’s readers:
“The Times has learnt that Mourinho and his coaching staff aired concerns about Martial’s focus and determination shortly after the Frenchman returned to pre-season training at the end of July.
“It is understood that the coaches informed the manager that they felt Martial was unable to concentrate in training because of issues that had dogged his private life over the summer.
“The split is thought to have affected Martial and there were concerns at United’s Carrington training ground that he was not able to focus.”
Martial endured a poor Euro 2016 with his home nation in France, not even amassing 70 minutes worth of game time, before being dropped from the starting line-up for United after four starts.
The £58million signing from Monaco was forced to surrender the number nine jersey to Zlatan Ibrahimovic too, but Martial may be coming good again.
After Martial scored against Stoke, Mourinho said: “He needs that. It was an amazing goal and a very good initiative. From an individual point of view it was obviously good for him.”
Once Martial scores a 25th competitive goal for the club (he is currently on 17), United must pay Monaco a further €10m (£8.8m) under the agreement of his transfer last summer.