‘Martial is vital for Man Utd & Rashford needs time’ - Solskjaer has faith in frontmen

The youngsters he is bringing through should look to emulate the great teams of the past, on and off the field, says the Red Devils boss

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer considers Anthony Martial to be “vital” to the Manchester United cause and is backing Marcus Rashford to reach “the top” as further potential in his game is unlocked.

The Red Devils have found the going tough in the final third during the 2019-20 campaign.

A clinical start to the season in a 4-0 victory over Chelsea quickly made way to missed opportunities and untimely injuries.

Martial has spent a large chunk of the campaign stuck on the sidelines, but has returned to form and fitness over recent weeks to net two goals in his last four appearances.

Solskjaer is delighted to have the France international back, with the 23-year-old now the favoured option for a central striking berth.

The United boss told reporters of his No.9 ahead of a Europa League clash with Partizan Belgrade on Thursday: “Anthony has been missed in training as well because when he’s in a good mood it affects other people.

“This season he has been in a very good mood when he’s been with us and it was hard for him to be out.

“He was working hard, maybe too hard, early on - that’s what made him redo his injury. It’s good to have him back. Anthony is a vital player for us.

“He has different attributes from Marcus, Dan [James], Jesse [Lingard], Mason [Greenwood].

“For us, he’s probably the one player that you can see hold the ball up more and you’ve got players making runs in behind.”

One of those working off Martial is England international Rashford.

He has seen questions asked of his contribution this season, but an Old Trafford academy graduate is still on a steep learning curve and Solskjaer believes there is still plenty more to come from a player with five Premier League goals and three assists to his name this season.

“Marcus is still developing, you’ve got to remember he’s just 22 years of age,” added the Red Devils manager.

“What he’s experienced in his career is fantastic, I hadn’t even made my debut for Molde at that age. We think he can reach the top.”