Anthony Martial must prove he deserves his place in the Manchester United team, manager Jose Mourinho has said, adding that it would be unfair to his rivals if the French striker continued to earn selection while underperforming.
Martial has struggled to convince Mourinho since the Portuguese arrived at the start of the season and has found himself in and out of the first team, having made 13 Premier League appearances this campaign, four of them from the bench.
“I don’t think he lost his focus. I just think he didn’t catch with both hands a big opportunity he had,” Mourinho told British media.
United recently sold Memphis Depay to French side Olympique Lyonnais and Mourinho said Martial must make the most of his chance to nail down a first-team spot.
“When we spoke about Depay (leaving United) we spoke about it being the only position where we have an over-booking of players,” the 54-year-old Mourinho added.
“We have still five players for this position. I cannot give one player chances to play and kill the others.
“We have (Marcus) Rashford, (Jesse) Lingard, (Juan) Mata, (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan and Martial, and I cannot give the same player chance after chance after chance and not consider the effort of the others.”
United, who head into Thursday’s League Cup semi-final second leg against Hull City with a 2-0 lead, host second tier side Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup on Sunday before they face Hull in the Premier League three days later.