Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed private talks with Anthony Martial in a bid to restore the striker’s confidence, which appear to be working as the Frenchman scored in the 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Friday night.
Martial has not been at his best this season, with the header against Villa just his second Premier League goal this campaign.
With the arrival of Edinson Cavani, and the likes of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Daniel James all competing for places in the front three, Martial’s place in the starting line-up is not secure and he has started just 12 of United’s 16 league games so far.
After starting and scoring as the Red Devils went level on points with Liverpool at the top of the table, Solskjaer feels Martial is edging back to his best and his confidence is returning.
‘We’ve had some chats, of course,’ said Solskjaer after the Villa win.
‘Player’s form is temporary but when you have got class that is permanent. I think he has proven he is class.
‘Now he is getting fitter and fitter and that means he is going to get better and better.’
The 25-year-old suffered a minor injury in December against West Ham, which Solskjaer is referring to, but it is confidence rather than fitness that has been his issue.
‘Anthony is going to improve,’ said the manager. ‘He’s going to be better and better. He’s had a few chances this season.
‘He’s still creating chances, he’s just not had that little bit of luck, margins in front of goal. They’ll come. We saw a better version of Anthony tonight. A more confident one.’
Manchester United return to action on Wednesday night in the EFL Cup semi-final against Man City.