Gary Neville: Rashford shouldn’t be dropped for Martial

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates with team mate Anthony Martial.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates with team mate Anthony Martial. /

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville was speaking during Sky Sports’ MNF coverage when he brought up the Rashford vs Martial debate.

The two youngsters are naturally strikers but are plying their trade at left wing where they have the freedom to cut in on their right foot and terrorise opposition defences. While Rashford has yet to score, Martial has managed two goals in two substitute appearances, but Neville thinks it shouldn’t be one or the other.

manchester united's marcus rashford and romelu lukaku
HOUSTON, TX – JULY 20: Marcus Rashford /

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“Martial has been devastating when coming off the bench but there’s no doubt he’s coming on against teams that are tired. He’s a brilliant finisher, his composure is brilliant. It’d be unfair for him to come in [at the] expense of Rashford. If you look at his work, his dribbles, his sprints.” said the former right-back.

Having dealt with many left wingers in his day, it would be fair to say that Neville knows what he’s talking about. It’s a debate that’s been around since Rashford made his debut after Martial felt a slight injury during Louis Van Gaal’s tenure. The Englishman was then devastating on the pitch, showing great maturity and suddenly the Frenchman had to worry about his spot on the team.

Anthony initially kicked off his own Manchester United career by destroying Skrtel in particular and scoring on his own debut vs Liverpool. He quickly became a fan favourite. The former Monaco man continued his fine form and it was as if the first half of United’s season was all about him. The second half, however, was certainly all about Marcus.

They’ve been competing ever since and it initially appeared like Rashford was the one who won Mourinho over first last season, having played more minutes than any other Red Devil, but Martial has made his own mark this Premier League campaign, scoring twice in 25 minutes off the bench over two games.

Now it may just be that the Manchester United academy graduate is the one who is worried about his spot but according to Neville, it should be someone else who loses their spot. United certainly look better with pace in their side and it can be argued that Mata is the one who should lose his spot with Mkhitaryan managing 4 assists in 2 games.

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The competition between Martial and Rashford will only bring out the best in them but who knows, maybe Neville is right and they should both play alongside Lukaku.  Whether Mourinho can squeeze in all 3 in the same XI is yet to be seen but there were early suggestions that Romelu and Marcus can play together. Whoever starts, there’s plenty of young and exciting talent in this team.