'Gone backwards': Rio Ferdinand sends clear message to Man United star Anthony Martial

Rio Ferdinand has his say on Anthony Martial's recent form for Manchester United

Anthony Martial
Striker Anthony Martial (Photo: The Sport Review)

Rio Ferdinand has admitted his frustration at Anthony Martial’s form for Manchester United in recent seasons and claims that the forward has “gone backwards” since he signed for the club.

Martial announced himself onto the stage at Old Trafford when he scored in the 3-1 win against Liverpool FC on his debut back in September 2015 when Louis van Gaal was in charge of the Red Devils.

The France international has been a regular fixture in the Red Devils team since then but he has struggled to produce consistent performances in recent seasons.

Martial, now 25, started Manchester United’s 1-1 draw against Southampton at the weekend but was unable to help Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men claim the three points against the Saints.

Former Red Devils star Ferdinand has admitted that he has been frustrated with how Martial’s career at Manchester United has panned out so far.

Speaking on his FIVE YouTube channel, Ferdinand said: “I think the most frustrating thing about him is that he’s actually gone backwards from when he first signed.

“If you’re a player and you look at when he hit the scene with the two goals against Liverpool and you think to yourself, ‘Wow, what have we signed here?’. He’s not really hit those heights since.

“As a player, I’d love to be able to get inside his head and spend time with him. Everyone thinks they can affect someone with a conversation.

“You’d be saying to him, ‘Are you actually happy with what you’re doing, are you happy with your trajectory of how it’s going?’. It’s gone here ‘rose up’ and it’s slowly like this [going down].

“Talent wise, from what I’m told from people, I remember Michael Carrick first went in and saw him and said, ‘Rio, this kid could be one of the best players on the planet easy, some of the stuff he does in training takes your breath away’.

“But sometimes there are players who are great in training but don’t replicate enough in games. I hope he’s not going down [that route].

“He’s still young enough to change it by the way but I don’t know what he needs, a rocket, or he needs someone in the changing room to be getting hold of him and demanding standards every single day and every single game.

“That’s what the big players do. There’s players in that changing room who don’t accept below-par performances on a regular basis, or something short of what your standard is.

“We’ve seen his standard, he’s not playing to it, someone get after him, that’s what’s needed.”

Martial will be hoping to feature when Manchester United – who are sixth in the table after two games – travel to take on Wolves in their next Premier League clash on Sunday afternoon.

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