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Home Sports Rio Ferdinand explains why Anthony Martial failed at Manchester United

Rio Ferdinand explains why Anthony Martial failed at Manchester United

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The French forward is on the verge of joining Sevilla on loan (Pictures: FIVE / YouTube / Getty)

Rio Ferdinand believes Anthony Martial was too inconsistent and predictable during his time at Manchester United, while he expects two more players to follow the Frenchman out the door this month.

After starting just two Premier League matches this season, the 26-year-old asked to leave Old Trafford in search of more regular game time elsewhere and United have now agreed a loan deal with Spanish side Sevilla until the end of the season.

Martial joined the club in a £36million move from Monaco in 2015 but never fully lived up to this enormous price tag or billing, and Ferdinand feels something still needs to ‘click’ in order for the forward to reach the top level.

Martial has only netted one goal this season (Picture: Getty)
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Speaking about Martial’s looming move to Sevilla on his FIVE YouTube channel, Ferdinand said: ‘I think Anthony Martial needs this, he needs to play first team football, he needs to be a regular, he needs to start playing on a regular basis now on a consistent level. For the last year or so, or longer even, he hasn’t been a regular and he probably needed this move.

‘And I’m interested to see who else goes. You’ve got Donny van de Beek sitting there probably going to go somewhere, interested to see where he goes. The same with Jesse Lingard – my betting head would say probably Newcastle with Jesse. But these are players that need to go out and play football and Martial is one of them.

‘Listen, getting the Ballon d’Or as a bonus in the contract – if he wins the Ballon d’Or, X amount of money gets paid – it puts a bit of extra pressure on someone, but when he came he hit the ground running. The goal he scored against Liverpool you think, “Wow! This kid is going to be world-class!”

‘He’s shown glimpses throughout his career at Man United where you think, “Wow, this kid could be ultra-special” but then there’s been times where he’s been underwhelming and you thought, “This isn’t good enough”. So hopefully he improves [on loan] and it frees up a bit of space for Man United to go and get someone else.’

On why Martial struggled to unlock his full potential at United, Ferdinand continued: ‘When Anthony Martial gets the ball to feet he’s a threat to any defender, you can tell, you can see defenders are on edge when he gets the ball. When he runs at you he’s phenomenal.

‘I just feel with Anthony Martial he didn’t move enough off the ball, he didn’t make runs in behind. But he’s quick! Sometimes you’ve got to vary the way you attack opponents and you can’t always want the ball to feet. I just feel he probably didn’t hurt defenders in behind as much as he could have, and he didn’t threaten in behind like he should have.

Lingard could follow Martial out the door with Newcastle interested (Getty)

‘You look at Sadio Mane, Marcus Rashford sometimes when he plays off that left-hand side, Raheem Sterling, they don’t only just come to feet because for a defender it becomes a lot easier to read. You have to vary the point of attack and I don’t think he did that enough.

‘You see things levied at him that he didn’t smile or he was moody etcetera, but I just feel if you look more at his football and the way he played his football: inconsistencies. When you’re going to build a winning team you can’t have people that are inconsistent in your team.’

He added: ‘It’s about output and doing it on a consistent basis and I think there might be some sort of mentality shift that he needs, maturity maybe. But something has got to click from within for him to go on now and really fulfil that potential that he has, because I think he’s a fabulous footballer on his day but there haven’t been enough of those days.’

MORE : Manchester United agree loan deal for Anthony Martial and open talks to offload Jesse Lingard

MORE : Manchester United in pole position to sign Boubacar Kamara ahead of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Newcastle

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