PETER SCHMEICHEL has delivered his verdict on how Manchester United can end a difficult season on a high.
The club’s legendary goalkeeper, who was speaking as a pundit on Sky Sports following their 1-0 win over Everton, said he’d like to see Anthony Martial as the main striker, with Wayne Rooney employed in a deeper role.
Schmeichel said: “Hopefully Martial is going to play in the No 9 position. I’d like to see him play where Marcus Rashford played (against Everton). I’d like to see Rashford being eased more into it, so he doesn’t have to play in every game. I really, really want Martial to be the No 9 of Man United.
“I think he plays well coming in from the left, but he is much more dangerous (in the middle). It requires people around him so he can play.
“Wayne can play in different positions. If you ask him, he wants to play in the No 10 position, but I’d like to see Wayne develop into a midfield player because he can play a little bit like Paul Scholes did. I am sure he can develop the engine to play in midfield. But Wayne has to want to play in that position.”
Schmeichel certainly isn’t alone in his thoughts – it’s an opinion many United fans have continually expressed since Martial arrived at Old Trafford in the January transfer window.
Rooney has been a magnificent performer over the years for United and to be fair to him, he had begun to find the net again before his injury setback, following a poor start to the season.
But if you look around the top clubs these days, pace is such an important factor. Rooney has never been blessed with lightning speed and it’s become more noticeable in recent years. Martial, on the other hand, has pace to burn and is able to run with the ball at speed and beat several opponents. He’s already managed an impressive 13 goals for the Red Devils in his short time at the club but would offer a far greater threat playing through the middle.
Ask any central defender who they’d rather be up against, Rooney or Martial – their answer wouldn’t surprise Schmeichel.
Should Martial play as United’s number 9?