Romelu Lukaku has barely been gone a full 24 hours before his squad number was taken over. Anthony Martial will take the number 9 shirt this season and it could hint at a change in position for him.
The Mirror printed a list of Man United’s squad numbers for this season and it shows the Frenchman being listed as the number nine for the upcoming season. His previous number 11 shirt currently looks to be vacant for now.
The departure of Romelu Lukaku leaves a space in the starting XI for someone to spearhead the attack. It’s not impossible to see Martial replacing him on the pitch as well as taking his number.
Martial was often forced onto the left hand side under Mourinho and Van Gaal but it would make sense to see him play through the middle. He played up front as part of a front two at times last season and his abilities are better suited to playing as a number 9.
Out wide he often has to come deep for the ball and its often obvious that he plans to try and drift inside with the ball at his feet. As a true number nine he can stay in the middle and use his pace to get in behind. He’s shown countless times he has the composure and finishing ability to score goals.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men look more likely to change their style this season by relying on pace and interchanging forwards rather than a target man. Martial could benefit from this and help fill the void left by the big Belgian.
He scored 10 Premier League goals last season and will hope to do even better this term.