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Erik ten Hag says Martial is Man Utd’s best finisher, opens the door for Van de Beek exit

Donny van de Beek and Anthony Martial

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag spoke on the progress of Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek ahead of the club’s Premier League clash against Fulham on Sunday.

The Red Devils recently returned to winning ways with a 4-2 victory over Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup third round. Martial was the pick of the players with his fourth goal of the season.

The Frenchman has been injured for most of the campaign, but his form has been impressive when fit with six goal contributions from as many as appearances.

Speaking ahead of the Fulham game, Ten Hag has acknowledged that Martial is definitely the best finisher in the squad and suits his style of play at United.

He told “Yes, definitely. It’s quite clear, in my way of playing I like the type [of player] Antony Martial is, because he can hold the ball. He is a [also] a target, he can link up, but he can also run behind. He has speed, he can finish, and he has good pressure [presses well].”

The Dutch tactician added that another loan deal for Donny van de Beek does not make sense and he either needs to fight for his place at United or head for the exit door.

He added: “I don’t think a loan [makes] sense. It’s either he fights [for] himself and proves himself, in this atmosphere in this environment, or he goes. But for me, there is still a way for him, there is still a perspective for him. It’s not going to be easy because the competition there is really strong.”

Martial and Van de Beek having different fortunes under Ten Hag

When Ten Hag took charge as United’s manager, there was much talk over his reunion with Van de Beek after their time together at Ajax. It was suggested that the midfielder could become a key player.

However, that has hardly been the case. Van de Beek started the season as a regular substitute before getting injured. He has started the last three games but has failed to justify his selection.

After three lacklustre displays, he should be dropped to the bench against Fulham on Sunday. Ten Hag has now opened the door for his permanent exit and we share a similar opinion on him.

The £35 million signing has not been able to adapt to the intensity and physical nature of the Premier League and his career could be revived if he were to pursue a fresh challenge in another country.

Meanwhile, Martial has had a tremendous turnaround under Ten Hag. Similar to Van de Beek, he was loaned out during the back end of last season. He was far from impressive for Sevilla in La Liga.

It seemed that his United career could be done this summer but he has found a new lease of life under Ten Hag, who has now publicly admitted that he is the perfect player to lead the line for him.

Martial’s big concern this term has been his fitness. He has been injured on three occasions but hopefully, he will stay unscathed for the rest of the season.

The World Cup break has probably come at the right time for him. The Frenchman has the chance to build up his fitness without the workload in games.

Stats from