Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits Man United forward unlikely to play again this season
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted he would be ‘very surprised’ if Anthony Martial plays again this season.
The Frenchman suffered an injury during the international break and missed United’s last game against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Martial has scored seven goals and assisted eight this season, with Edinson Cavani pushing him for his spot.
Speaking ahead of the match against Granada this week, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that it is unlikely United fans will see Martial again this season.
“Anthony has started his recovery and, if we see him before the end of the season, I will be very surprised,” Solskjaer explained to Man United’s official website.
“But, of course, he is determined to come back as quickly as he can. There are important games for us before the end of the season, and then there are the Euros [with France, in the summer].
“He has already come in [to the training ground] – he is bright around the place. [He’s] disappointed he can’t help us now, but, of course, he wants to work to get back as quickly as possible.”
A big opportunity for Anthony Elanga
In the absence of Martial, Solskjaer has promoted exciting youngster Anthony Elanga to the first-team squad.
The 18-year-old has scored eight goals and assisted three in United’s youth side.
Speaking about Elanga, Solskjaer gave an exciting insight into the starlet ahead of a potential debut against Granada.
“He’s got an ‘X’ factor, some attributes, it’s not like a gift, but he’s got the acceleration, pace, speed, that’s a given for wingers, and he’s got qualities I like,” Solskjaer explained, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
“He’s a goalscoring winger, he’s confident, he likes to beat men, right foot, left foot, he’s got a great attitude. His appetite and hunger to improve, and when he’s been training with us the while he’s been here now he’s not been fazed by it, he’s confident.
“He’s not just there for experience – he’s ready to play a part if he has to.”
SL View – Will Granada test Manchester United?
While Granada may look to be easy opposition for United, the Spanish club have already pulled off a big shock in their year’s competition.
Granada beat Napoli 3-2 on aggregate in the round of 32 before seeing off Solskjaer’s former side Molde.
Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Roberto Soldado is their top goalscorer this season, scoring six goals.
Colombian winger Luis Suarez will also be a key man for Granada, with the 23-year-old impressing this season.
With that being said, United are the current favourites to win the competition and will take some stopping on Thursday evening.