Martial looked set to start United’s Premier League opener against Brighton on Sunday before pulling up with a muscular injury in training.
The Frenchman spent the second-half of last season on loan at Sevilla and that temporary move appeared to pave the way for Martial’s permanent departure from Old Trafford.
But Martial impressed Ten Hag in pre-season and the Dutch boss was reportedly planning to start him up top for United against Brighton before the injury setback.
Souness is surprised by Ten Hag’s verdict on Martial as the former Liverpool defender does not believe the 26-year-old has the right mindset to flourish for a club like Manchester United.
The Sky Sports pundit even compared Martial with ex-United midfielder Paul Pogba and says they are both ‘dodgy’ and ‘pick and choose’ when they perform.
‘Erik ten Hag had a good career at Ajax but managing at Ajax and managing at United are world’s apart,’ Souness told talkSPORT.
‘Ajax have always been a top team in Holland and always will be. If they don’t win the league they finish second.
‘Coming to Man United, at a very difficult point in their history, is a difficult task. He needs time but time isn’t your friend as a manager.
‘You’re looking to make an immediate impact but how do you do that? Unless you’ve got a special group of players coming through then you need to buy players.
‘But they’ve not really recruited any game-changers. So now the manager is relying on players already there and you look at someone like Anthony Martial.
‘How many opportunities is that young man going to get to be a Manchester United player? He’s proven already to me he’s not for Man United.
‘He can’t deal with the pressure of playing at Man United. It’s like Paul Pogba. In both of them I see real players, I see quality that few players possess.
‘But it’s on their terms and they pick and choose when they use it. When you play for a big club you cannot be like that.
‘When you are at a big club you play in a cup final every week. These players are not up for that, they’re not up for the fight.
‘It’s no good being a great player in training or being a great player once every six or seven games. You’re at a big club because you want to win things and want to be challenging all the time.
‘With these players, you won’t. In basic terms, they are dodgy, they are not people you can rely on, end of.
‘I don’t think you can rely on Martial anymore, not that you ever could. He’s been far too hit or miss.’
Ten Hag endured a dismal first competitive match in charge of Manchester United as he watched his side lose 2-1 to Brighton on Sunday.
A deflated Ten Hag said: ‘First of all I’m disappointed, that’s clear. We have to take the lessons from this.
‘We could have been better on the ball, making too many easy mistakes. Also out of possession the organisation, [they were] goals they should not have scored.
‘Brighton is a good team but I look to my team and we should have done things better and I thought it was unnecessary to give two easy goals away if we are better on the ball and make better decisions, not only with technical skills but with our choices and then we could have dominated the game.’
Asked about the scale of the job he faces at Old Trafford, Ten Hag added: ‘I’m aware of it from before and this game does not change it. It’s a hell of a job and we have to work really hard, analyse, learn the lessons and move forward.’
Manchester United return to action on Saturday when travel to west London to face Brentford, who drew 2-2 with Leicester City in their Premier League opener.
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