Maurinho Benches Martial, Starts Mkhitaryan For Hull Clash
Feb 01, 2017 01:53 PM EST
Manchester United's Anthony Martial will sit on the bench for the home game against Hull City on Wednesday.
Although he had provided two assists in United's 4-0 victory against Wigan Atheletic F.C. in their FA Cup fourth round clash, Skysports reported that his performance was not enough to convince manager Jose Maurinho to put him in the starting line-up. Instead, the manager had chosen Henrikh Mkhitaryan over the France international.
One of Martial's assist had led to Mkhitaryan scoring one of the four United goals against Wigan last Sunday with the Armenian chosen as man of the match. Skysports added that it has been a difficult second season for Martial, with only two goals to his name so far since Maurinho became manager.
Manchester Evening News wrote that Maurinho had promised Martial a start against Wigan and a "magnificent" performance would earn him another start against Hull. The Portuguese manager's comment of Martial's on-field display was that it was "enough to be on the bench."
The article added that the Frenchman's struggle was in contrast to his first season where he made 49 appearances and scored 17 goals. After his appointment at United, Maurinho had brought in Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which had forced Martial to play on the left wing instead of the middle of the park.
Omnisport reported that Martial's future is in doubt under Maurinho, who has prepared a shopping list of potential players in the off-season. Maurinho told reporters that he while he knows who he wants for the summer transfer period, he is always realistic about his chances of securing the players and prefers to focus on the task at hand, which is to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
United is currently in the Europa League and Maurinho, who has won the Champions League with Inter Milan and FC Porto, is missing the action in Europe's top tier competition. Currently sixth in the Premier League, United needs to finish the season in the top four to qualify for next season's Champions League or win the Europa League.
On United's chances to achieve either one, Maurinho was quoted by Omnisport to say: "Both achievable, both difficult, but we are going to work hard for that."