Manchester United legend Roy Keane has suggested the club’s current forward Anthony Martial might not even be good enough at top-flight level anymore.
Martial is into the final year of his contract with Man Utd and is one of the longest-serving players at the club. His situation is an awkward one, though, since he has long looked like someone the club should be trying to shift.
The French forward has not scored double figures of goals in a season since 2019-20, when he recorded his career-best tally of 23 across all competitions.
Almost two years ago, Man Utd sent Martial on loan to Sevilla, but his spell in Spain was underwhelming on a personal level.
It has been a struggle to generate concrete interest in Martial ever since and it remains unclear who he will be playing for next season.
Recently, TEAMtalk revealed that Man Utd are even hoping they could sell Martial in January.
Alternatively, they could activate an option to extend his contract into 2025 in an effort to sell him in the summer.
His recent performances for Man Utd, such as in their loss to Newcastle United on Saturday, have done him no favours.
Speaking on Sky Sports on Sunday, Keane highlighted how Martial might be put in his place by his next move.
“You’ve got to focus on the players who are at the club at the moment,” Keane said.
“We mention Martial, I know he’s an easy target, but the first two touches Martial got last night…
“We forgive Martial, the fact he scores a goal every 14 years; I actually forgive a player for that.
“But let me tell you, we’re up at Newcastle, we’re under pressure, and we put the ball into you, you better get hold of that ball, just to get us up the pitch, get a bit of breathing space, maybe win a free kick, and he’s touching balls and just giving it away cheaply.
“He might as well go down the leagues.
“Man Utd were trying to get rid of him a few years ago.”
Put to Keane that Erik ten Hag must have his reasons for picking Martial, the outspoken pundit suggested the manager should be using alternatives.
“I don’t know if he has to pick Martial,” Keane replied to Micah Richards.
“There’s other strikers at the club.”
Martial, who turns 28 on Tuesday, has scored twice from 18 appearances between the Premier League, Champions League and Carabao Cup this season.
During his whole Man Utd career, he has amassed 316 appearances and 90 goals.
Despite Keane’s quip, he can expect to continue his career in a top flight when he leaves Man Utd, but the calibre of club he goes on to represent could be telling.