Louis Saha is adamant that Manchester United shouldn’t sell ailing Anthony Martial this summer, but insisted the Frenchman must become more ‘goal-obsessed’ if he is to thrive in the jersey number nine.
Martial has been criticized this season for failing to put together a consistent form, having scored just four goals in 21 Premier League appearances.
The 25-year-old, who joined the Monaco club at the age of 19 for an initial £ 36million, has been blowing hot and cold with Red Devils fans since his time at Old Trafford in 2015.
However, former No.9 Saha, who scored 42 goals in 124 games for the Red Devils from 2004-2008, is adamant his compatriot has the quality to succeed.
But he urged Martial to make some changes to his game.
“I think he’s a top player for sure,” Saha told talkSPORT.com.
“I think when you’re No 9 and you don’t score it’s hard because people just ask you to score goals. That’s all.
“When you don’t, you are going to be criticized. You have to be strong and really believe. You also need to be selfish and adopt a style of play that you really like.
“That’s why he’s criticized. It’s not about his talent or his desire because he’s got that I’m sure.
“It is sometimes his expression. Having this obsession with scoring makes it easier because people say he’s been unlucky, but you can see when he’s in his comfort zone people get on his back.
United have been linked with many better forwards in recent transfer windows, with claims from fans and experts that the club should replace Martial.
But Saha backed the forward, insisting he should NOT be sold.
“I really don’t think he’s a player Man United should give up because he can be that player who completes the strike force because he’s unique in the way he plays,” he said.
“When you’re not scoring you have to be obsessed with scoring goals and I think sometimes he just doesn’t show it.”
Saha played with iconic goal scorers during his four-year stint at Old Trafford.
He graced the pitch with some of the best high-flying hitmen including Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
And Saha believes Martial has to compromise his game to become more of a goalscorer, just like Ronaldo did in the later stages of his career.
“You mention Wayne [Rooney]Added the former Fulham, Everton and Sunderland striker. “He didn’t have No. 9 on his back. He was No.10 and could play on the wing and do a big job and no one would focus on the number of goals he was scoring.
“When he played in that position that’s what people were talking about when he wasn’t scoring.
“I have the impression that he understands it, but Martial comes naturally to the ball to try to help his team in a certain way, but I do not feel that he is helping him -even.
“When you look [Edinson] Cavani gives a lot of energy and sometimes sacrifices himself on the back of good positions.
“It’s Cristiano’s strength [Ronaldo] now. He’s at the end of his career and he prioritizes how he can score many goals.
“He doesn’t want to be pretty or in good positions, he’s just trying to disrupt the game, distract defenders and go to the box. That’s all.”
Louis Saha was speaking to talkSPORT.com on behalf of William Hill. Check out the latest William Hill football odds