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Ten Hag: Man United play their best football with Martial in the team

Manchester United responded to their defeat to Newcastle United with successive wins over Brentford and Everton. Anthony Martial continues to make his return for the Red Devils and helped their cause with a late goal against the Toffees.

Since the turn of the 2023 calendar year, the French ace has missed 18 first-team commitments. Eri ten Hag was pleased with the versatile attacker’s return, hailing him as the deciding factor.

Martial only played 31 minutes against Everton and 20 minutes against Brentford. Ten Hag is taking his time reintegrating his star pupil, sharing that they will not rush his return.

“We don’t have to force things. We are careful of course. The front line against Brentford and Everton worked really well.

“I think he [Martial] is ready to start games but, as I said, the front line against Brentford did very well and we decided to continue that against Everton.

“The advantage would be to bring back Anthony Martial slowly and get him used to playing at the highest level, in the highest intensity, but against Everton he did well.”

United play their best football with prolific Martial

The Red Devils missed a trick twice with Martial’s recovery. He was reintroduced early in January after which he missed four games. His return against Nottingham Forest did not go according to the plan where he was sidelined again.

Ten Hag hailed the Frenchman’s importance for his designs with the Red Devils. The Dutch tactician shared that Manchester United perform better as a team with the forward on the team sheet.

“I point to the stats which tell you that at the moment he is on the pitch, the time he needs for a goal is less [than other players in the team].

“When he is in the team we play our best football and have our best results as a team. I see how he continues to perform for this team.”

United missed Eriksen

The tail end of the 2023 campaign will see the Red Devils able to use the services of Christian Eriksen. The Danish midfielder had missed 16 competitive fixtures for United and only played 14 minutes against Toffees.

Ten Hag shared his belief that the Dane helps their midfield balance which had been disrupted without Eriksen, Casemiro and Fernandes.

“The balance in the midfield was good when we had Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes linking up.

“The co-operation between them two [Casemiro and Eriksen] in particular worked really well.

“Eriksen can support Casemiro in link-up play, but also in the final part of the game he creates chances. He was a really important player for us in this respect. He had seven or eight assists in the Premier League. That tells a story for us how important he is. He sees the pass and also gives the pass.”

Erik ten Hag gave an update on the injuries of Marcus Rashford, Alejandro Garnacho, and Luke Shaw. He confirmed that Rashford would miss the next few games but believed he would be available for the end of the season. Additionally, Garnacho’s injury is more severe and Shaw is expected to return shortly, however, both players will miss the trip to Seville.

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