Ex-Manchester United star Paul Parker has told Erik ten Hag that he must start Rasmus Hojlund in the club’s next fixture against Brighton.
Anthony Martial has been handed the responsibility of leading the line in the last two games but, with Hojlund now fit and available, Parker says there would be outrage if Martial keeps his place:
“If he (Hojlund) doesn’t start against Brighton, then all fans will want Erik ten Hag fired, and it would almost be justified. It wouldn’t make any sense if he started on the bench. Martial shouldn’t even be on the bench. There must be a youth player who is better who can sit on the bench, and Hojlund can be the first striker.”
“All Manchester United fans are fed up with seeing a player with a lousy attitude, who always sulks and complains, and it’s a blessing that Man Utd finally has an attacker who plays with enthusiasm. I actually don’t agree that you can’t already judge Hojlund based on the minutes he had against Arsenal. You certainly can because he made a huge difference when he was substituted in.”
Those are strong words from Parker but Martial’s time as a regular starter for United has surely come to an end. Hojlund will need time to get up to speed following a back injury but he should get minutes for Denmark during the international break so he can get back to match fitness.
It’s a damning indictment of United’s transfer policy
The fact that Martial is still considered one of United’s two main options upfront sums up the lack of forward planning in the club’s recruitment department.
Going into the summer, it was believed that the Red Devils were looking to sign two strikers. Ultimately, they only ended up bringing in one.
There are a couple of reasons why that happened. 1) The club were not originally planning to replace David De Gea but they ultimately spent £47m on Andre Onana instead, rather than on a new forward 2) United failed to raise the cash necessary from the sales of players like Fred, Donny van Beek, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay.
It has left ten Hag in the awkward situation of having to use an injury-prone player like Martial whose best days are behind him.