According to the Mirror, Manchester United star Anthony Martial has lifted the lid on the motivating message Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sent him when he was handed back the No.9 shirt.
Martial shed light on Solskjaer’s message in an interview with French television channel Canal+, he added that the Red Devils boss encouraged him to ‘show’ why he deserved the honour.
Martial, who arrived at Old Trafford ahead of the 2015/16 season, lost the No.9 shirt when Jose Mourinho handed it to experienced world-class forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Frenchman came with huge potential but endured a difficult few seasons prior to the current campaign due to constant injury troubles and falling out-of-favour under Mourinho.
Here’s what Martial told Canal+, Solskjaer’s methods have certainly worked:
“He [Solskjaer] sent me a message, he said ‘do you want to take your no.9 shirt back?’.”
“I straight up said yes! I said yes and he told me ‘now it’s up to you to show me [that you deserve it] every time you’re on the pitch’.”
Martial also explained why striker is where he feels at his ‘best’, which has been proved this season:
“It’s different, for example on the wing I have more opportunities to dribble past players, to make the difference while as a 9 I’m here to score and I have scored more goals as a striker than as a winger so it’s a good sign for me.
“That’s the position [striker] where I was shaped & developed in at the academy when I was young, that’s where I feel at my best.”
Solskjaer’s message and the accompanying gesture that returned the No.9 shirt to Martial has worked wonders, the France international is enjoying the best season of his career.
Martial, who is now deployed as a centre-forward rather than a winger, has scored 21 goals and chipped in with eight assists in 41 appearances across all competitions this term.
Martial has really taken his game to the next level and is beginning to solidify himself as one of the Premier League’s top forwards.