Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley has warned Anthony Martial that he has ‘no excuses’ not to perform consistently playing alongside Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba for Manchester United.
The 24-year-old’s hat-trick in United’s 3-0 win over Sheffield United on Wednesday night made him the first player to hit a treble for the club since Robin van Persie in 2013.
Romelu Lukaku’s departure to Inter Milan last summer opened up the No.9 spot for Martial and he has rewarded Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s faith in him with 19 goals across all competitions this season.
One major criticism of the Frenchman has been his lack of consistency, but, Burley believes that can no longer be excused with Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba as his supporting cast.
‘Well you’re playing for that football club, you look at the strikers that have led the line for them in their hugely successful periods, they’ve been very, very, extremely consistent,’ Burley told ESPN FC.
‘So, you can’t afford to have those sort of ups and downs as many times as Martial has had.
‘We know the quality, we’ve seen the quality when he first came in from Monaco, we’ve seen it in glimpses for France and we’ve seen it in glimpses for Man United.
‘We know he’s got the pace, we know he has the talent.
‘He’s got an understanding with Rashford, he’s got a player in place in behind in Fernandes who can pick a pass, he’s got a player in Pogba who when he plays deeper who can pick a ball over the top, so there’s really no excuses.’
United’s win over the Blades took them to within two points of fourth-placed side Chelsea and with a relatively easy run-in, Burley feels they are in with a good chance of qualifying for the Champions League.
‘It’s in United’s hands more or less,’ he added.
‘If you look at their fixture list between now and the end of the season to get into the European places and more importantly the Champions League places, they’ve got none of the top boys to play.
‘So it’s in their hands, they’ve got a great chance to finish the season strongly.’
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