Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker insists Anthony Martial cannot be trusted to ‘play through the pain’ in his battle to stay fit under Erik ten Hag.
Martial’s struggles for fitness have continued this term, with three separate injury issues hampering his progress under the new manager.
The 27-year-old has been impressive in front of goal when fit, scoring four times in 292 minutes of football, a goal every 73 minutes.
Ten Hag has made it clear that the former Monaco youngster is his first-choice centre forward, admitting United’s top four chances could rest on him staying fit.
‘So if he [Martial] can’t be fit it is really difficult to get in the first four,’ ten Hag said in November.
Parker believes Martial will be determined to ‘prove a point’ but admits he doesn’t trust the forward to remain available for the rest of the season, questioning whether the Frenchman has the will to play through the pain barrier and sacrifice himself for the team.
‘I really hope that Anthony Martial will start to live up to all the hype and the potential he actually had when he arrived from AS Monaco.
‘He is 27 years old so he should be at his peak now,’ Parker told BeMyBet.
‘I really expect him to want to prove a point now but all he has proven so far in his career is that he is able to have the longest injury period.
‘He is really good at being injured, you got to give that to him. This is the moment for him now and it is his last chance in Man United.
‘But honestly, I don´t trust him and I don’t trust that he will play through that pain that he deems to have all the time.”
‘But Man United needs to go and get a new centre forward. He needs a player to compete with, also because ten Hag cannot rely on him as the only centre forward.’
United appear determined to bring in another option in January with the club preparing a €50million bid for PSV Eindhoven star Cody Gakpo.
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