Manchester United forward Anthony Martial is “misunderstood” by his club’s fans, according to Troy Deeney, who has branded the France forward as “so sick”.
The forward has returned to something like his best form this season after benefiting from a regular run of games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and having netted 16 times in 34 appearances so far.
But despite being contracted to the club until summer 2024, the attacker hasn’t always played to his consistent best at Old Trafford and has suffered downturns in his form and was close to being sold while Jose Mourinho was in charge.
However, his future has come under the spotlight again in recent months amid reports he will be targeted by two European giants this summer.
And while his possible exit would divide supporters, Watford star Deeney believes Martial is the victim of “fickle fans” and reckons he is not given the credit he deserves.
“How can you not like Martial? He’s so sick,” Deeney told United We Stand.
“He scored against us, everybody said he was unbelievable. He could play the same game against Burnley and not score and he’s ‘lazy’. That’s how fickle fans are.
“He could play really bad, have real bad touches, score two, you win 2-0, [and people say] Martial’s unbelievable today. They’re not looking at the footballing context. If you’re looking at it from a purely football context – why’s he going to chase a right-back down?
“He’s not going to do that. I’m not going to lie, it’s how I made a living!”
United continue to be linked with a big-name striker signing this summer, with a report last week claiming the Red Devils were eyeing three men in an ambitious triple swoop.
And while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to rate the Frenchman, Deeney reckons Martial suffers by way of not having a regular position in the United attack.
“I still think they need to figure out Martial – is he playing on the left or as a striker?” Deeney added.
Deeney on strange Ighalo, Lukaku decision
Deeney, meanwhile, has taken aim at Manchester United’s transfer policy after their decision to sign Odion Ighalo in the January transfer window, just months after selling Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan.
Ighalo joined the Red Devils on deadline day on a six-month loan from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua with Solskjaer short of attacking options due to Marcus Rashford’s injury.
Deeney said: “The hit they took on Lukaku is mad, when you think about it.
“They let Lukaku go and then they had to go and get Ighalo. Iggy has hit the ground running there, he will always score goals. But yeah, Lukaku?
“Look at his goal record. And what’s he paid to do? Score goals. When he was at Everton [people said] “Ah, we need someone like him, he’d be great at United” then you get him and it’s, “Ah, his first touch is bad” but he scored like 60 goals, you know? “Nah, not good enough. His touch isn’t good enough.”