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Erik ten Hag continues to believe in Anthony Martial despite fitness issues

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag insists that he still believes in Anthony Martial, even though the forward struggles to stay fit.

Martial has suffered five different injuries this season, forcing him to miss 30 games.

The Dutchman was quizzed if Martial is facing a race against time to secure a long-term future at United.

He replied (via “I don’t think this is the right moment (to say) whether that would be the case.

“But I believe in him. Every time he is available, he gives a good contribution to the team’s performance and the level of the team.

“He is training at the moment. We are just working with him to get fit and to be available.”

Martial has featured merely 14 times this season. Even Victor Lindelof, who now looks to be the fourth-choice centre-back, has played seven games more than the Frenchman.

One has to go 18 months back to see when the 27-year-old last completed 90 minutes in a game.

Having said that, Ten Hag rightly appreciates the contributions the forward has made this term.

He has scored six goals and registered two assists in 652 minutes of playing time. This means he has been directly involved in a goal every 81 minutes, which is an admirable statistic for any player.

However, his inability to stay fit has made him unreliable. With his contract expiring in less than 18 months now, United must make a call on his future.

He returned to training last week but was not a part of the squad which faced Real Betis on Thursday.

Ten Hag has also confirmed that the France international won’t feature against Fulham in the FA Cup. He does not want to hurry the striker and aggravate his injury record.