Jose Mourinho urged Anthony Martial to listen to him and not the player’s agent after the Frenchman played a key role in helping Manchester United fight back against Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Martial’s future at the club has been in the spotlight, due to a recent lack of regular starts, but the forward played 90 minutes against Middlesbrough, and scored the equaliser as United turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win, with two goals in the last five minutes.
Speaking in his postmatch news conference, Mourinho said:
“He played, he created, he scored, he fought. I think he was very positive. I know he’s a top talent.
“Anthony has to listen to me, and not listen to his agent. He has to listen to me in training every day and listen to the feedback I give to try to improve players.
“With [Henrikh] Mkhitrayan, almost every day, his agent called me and said, ‘Mkhitaryan with you will become a better player, keep going.’
“With Martial, I every day I read in the newspaper, ‘Martial goes to Sevilla, Martial goes on loan, Martial is not happy.’ Martial has to listen to me.”
Mourinho was not the only one impressed with Martial’s performance against Boro. TV pundit Alan Shearer singled out the former Monaco star for praise saying:
“Anthony Martial has been criticised a lot this season, and rightly so in some quarters, but I thought he was the best player on the park.
“He played a big part in them getting back into the game and he was very, very positive from the start.
“He crossed on both feet and the shot he had which hit the post was a brilliant effort – it must have been 30, 35 yards out.
“He didn’t give up, he kept on looking for the ball and put in a wonderful cross for the Ibrahimovic goal which should have never been disallowed, it was ridiculous.
“It was a beautiful ball from Pogba for the equaliser, a brilliant header from Ibrahimovic and a lovely finish to get his team back on level terms, and of course they went on to win the game.”