‘He can destroy any defender if he decides to’: Patrice Evra hails return to form of Anthony Martial as he reveals Manchester United striker was frustrated by Jose Mourinho’s decision to hand Zlatan Ibrahimovic his No 9 shirt
- Anthony Martial is in the form of his Manchester United career this season
- The striker scored his first career hat-trick against Sheffield United last week
- Patrice Evra says United are now going to get the best out of the 24-year-old
- Evra lifted the lid regarding Martial’s row with United over the number 9 shirt
But after a difficult start to his Old Trafford career, former United defender Evra believes Martial is capable of kicking on and becoming a top striking option for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side.
Patrice Evra believes Manchester United are now going to get the best out of Anthony Martial
Martial scored a hat-trick against Sheffield United last week to take his league tally to 14 goals
Speaking before United’s clash with Brighton on Tuesday evening, Evra told Sky Sports: ‘From now on I think United are going to get the best out of him, not because of the hat-trick, but because he wants to be there for the club now.
‘He can destroy any defender if he decides to, no defender can handle him.
‘That is why he frustrates a lot of people because they know his talent. He is one of the best strikers, but he lacks the aggressiveness, that hunger and anger.’
Martial fell out with Manchester United back in 2016 when the club, then managed by Jose Mourinho forced him to give up his number nine shirt to new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Martial’s future at United was doubted when he gave his number 9 shirt to Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Martial (left) was forced to relinquish the squad number by former boss Jose Mourinho (right)
Instead, the Frenchman was handed the number 11 shirt while Ibrahimovic became the main centre forward option for the Red Devils.
With the Swedish forward no longer at the club, and Martial now being coached by Solksjaer, Evra believes the French forward is a more mature figure this season.
Evra added: ‘They let him down when they swapped the shirt with Zlatan.
‘We were in the national team [together] and he received from the call and they said, “you have to give your number 9 shirt'”. And he said, ‘no absolutely not.”
‘But afterwards, Mourinho contacted him and said, “Zlatan is going to take the number 9 and you’re going to take the number 11.”
Martial, now United’s number 9 again, is a more mature figure now, according to Evra
‘It’s not going to be like I’m going to say Martial has not been playing well because of that shirt number but it starts from there.
‘I remember at the start of the season I went to Carrington, and Martial was really upset and really frustrated because he was injured.
And I was like, “wow that’s really impressive because last time I saw you weren’t having that enthusiasm and now you’re injured you want to come back really fast and to make sure you can help the team.”‘
Martial is now a key Manchester United player this season in the Red Devils’ attack
Martial is now an integral part of the United attack, which is boosted by fellow forward Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Daniel James.
The forward are supported by all-action midfielders Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, who Evra believes are going to be key for the Red Devils in the coming years.
‘When you got players like Paul Pogba and Fernandes, you can see the difference straight away. You’re going to create chances.
‘Martial will be smiling today, Rashford will be smiling because when you have two geniuses like this behind the strikers, it’s so important and you’re to score goals and create a lot of chances.’