Man Utd manager backs current striker following recent Harry Kane spotlight

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted that they do not need a striker to play the number nine role when they already have Anthony Martial within their ranks.

Last weekend saw former United midfielder Roy Keane claim that the Old Trafford outfit should go out and prise Harry Kane away from Tottenham Hotspur to help solve their striking situation (Sky Sports).

Keane’ comments saw Solskjaer praise the Spurs marksman when asked during a press conference ahead of their Europa League match against Partizan Belgrade (Daily Mail).

The United boss has now thrown his support behind Martial to play the role after claiming that previous managers have been inclined to play him out wide due to his electric pace.

While some suggested that United were short of a striker following the sale of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan, Solskjaer is fully confident that the Frenchman has the capabilities to fill the void.

He told The Irish Mirror: “Now Anthony is back, I am quite happy with the options I have in attack.

“I’ve heard what some people have said about us being short of a genuine No.9, but Anthony has absolutely ­everything in his locker to take that role.

“He can be a target man, he’s quick, he’s technical – and one of the reasons he wanted to stay here was because I told him I saw him as a central striker.

“I don’t think people ­outside the club realise how good this lad is.

“But the players in the dressing room know. When we are talking about how we are going to score goals, they say, ‘We will just give the ball to Anthony.’

“He has the confidence of his team-mates and his manager ­because we see him every day in training.

“What I’ve now got to do is set the team up to get the best out of him, but I think he will improve by just staying fit and playing more games.” 

He added: “People have the wrong idea about Anthony. He is a lad who enjoys life and always has a smile on his face. I know some people will be surprised by that because he is ­always being criticised for having poor body language.

“But he is happy again. He always wanted to be Manchester United ’s No.9 – and he’s got his number back.

“We have missed him for the last eight weeks. We hoped to have him back earlier and he was so desperate to play that he really pushed his recovery and ended up having a small recurrence.”

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