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Ferdinand explains key asset Anthony Martial was lacking after Man Utd exit

Samuel Bannister
Anthony Martial, Man Utd v Villarreal in the Champions League clash at El Madrigal

Rio Ferdinand believes it is best for all parties that Anthony Martial has left Manchester United on loan, explaining where it went wrong for the “inconsistent” attacker.

Martial’s loan switch from Man Utd to Sevilla was confirmed on Tuesday night. It will be the first time he has played for a club other than United since joining them from Monaco in 2015.

Getting his first taste of La Liga, Martial will spend the rest of the season in Spain. Sevilla will be covering his wages for the duration of the spell. But they will not have the option to buy.

Martial will be presented to Sevilla fans at their Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on Wednesday. In the meantime, pundits have been dissecting why things took a turn for the worse in his Man Utd career.

Only in 2019-20, he enjoyed his best ever season with 23 goals and 12 assists. But his prominence has decreased ever since; Martial only made two Premier League starts this season before his exit.

One man who thinks the move is wise is former Red Devils defender Ferdinand. Speaking on his Vibe with Five channel, the ex-England international admitted the move will be important for a player who has not fulfilled his potential.

Ferdinand said: “I think Anthony Martial needs this. He needs to play first-team football, he needs to be a regular, he needs to start playing on a regular basis now on a consistent level.

“For the last year or so, even longer maybe, he hasn’t been a regular and he’s needed this move.

Anthony Martial will sign for Sevilla on loan

Anthony Martial will leave Manchester United for Sevilla as French striker set to sign on loan for 6 months

“I’m interested to see who else goes. You’ve probably got Donny van de Beek probably gonna go somewhere – interested to see where he goes.

“The same with Jesse Lingard – my head would say to me Newcastle – but these are players that need to go out and play football and Martial is one of them.

“He showed glimpses throughout his career at Man Utd where you think, ‘Wow, this kid could be ultra-special’.

“But then there’s been times where he’s been under-whelming and you thought, ‘This isn’t good enough’.

“Hopefully he improves [on loan] and it frees up a bit of space for Man Utd to go and get someone else.”

Ferdinand tells Anthony Martial where to improve

Anthony Martial warming up for Manchester United before Premier League game against Leicester

As a former defender, Ferdinand thinks Martial has a tendency to make it too easy for opponents by not mixing up how he attacks.

Comparing him to one of his teammates and two rivals, Ferdinand told the Frenchman he has to use his pace more and shake off any inconsistency. Perhaps the loan spell in Seville will help.

Ferdinand added: “I just feel with Martial he didn’t move enough off the ball. He didn’t make runs in behind, but he’s quick.

“Sometimes you’ve got to vary the way you attack opponents and you can’t always want the ball to feet. He probably didn’t hurt defenders in behind as much as he could have.

“When you look at a (Sadio) Mane, (Marcus) Rashford sometimes, (Raheem) Sterling, they don’t all just come to feet as for a defender it then gets easy to read. You have to vary the point of attack. I don’t think that he did that enough.

“You see things levelled at him that he didn’t smile and was moody but you just look at more the way he played his football – his inconsistencies.

“When you’re going to be a winning team you can’t have people who are inconsistent in the team.”

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