Anthony Martial had a disappointing 2020/21 season at Manchester United. There is no other way to dress it up.
Martial scored just seven goals, a big dip on the 23 he scored a year earlier. He did add a bit of gloss to this by adding five assists.
United hope Martial can rediscover his form this season, and there is one ray of hope.
Data shows Martial averaged more shots on target per 90 in Premier League matches than any Manchester United player in 2020/21.
FBRef.com figures show Martial averaged 1.28 shot on target per 90.
This was ahead of Bruno Fernandes (1.16), Mason Greenwood (1.14), Marcus Rashford (1.11) and Edinson Cavani (0.98).
What this shows us is that Martial was effective in linking up with his teammates and getting into goalscoring positions.
His ruthlessless in front of goal simply let him down. Martial averaged 0.09 goals per shot, compared to Edinson Cavani 0.29.
Martial needs to work hard on this. He used to have a reputation of being clinical in front of goal. When he first joined United from Monaco it seemed like he would never miss.
Somewhere last season in particular this clinical streak abandoned him. He missed a simple chance to win the game against PSG and an easy one on one missed away at Fulham was typical of his season.
Martial is a confidence player, and he began last season poorly. This seemed to increase his anxiety. It’s possible he put himself under too much pressure to follow up his 23 goal campaign in 2019/20 and performed even more poorly once he realised how behind track he was getting.
A strong pre-season can help Martial, as will the arrival of Jadon Sancho. Martial did have good performances last season like away at Sheffield United and away at Manchester City, but these were few and far between.
Martial will be frustrated after missing the end of season and the Euros, but he needs to clear his head and come back strong.
When he played up front last season as opposed to his often listless starts on the left, Martial had his moments where he did part of his job right, before his shooting let him down. Next season he needs to put it all together.
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