Erik ten Hag remaining patient with Man United strike duo Martial and Weghorst
Erik ten Hag is content to be patient with both Anthony Martial and Wout Weghorst.
Martial is sidelined again by another injury, this time to his hip. He has made only 14 appearances in all competitions this season for Manchester United and is yet to play a full game.
The Frenchman spent the second half of last season on loan at Sevilla but failed to impress, with injuries once again a problem.
Ten Hag remains a fan of the 27-year-old, though, saying: “He is not always available, but also I see the other side when he is available. He was never 100 per cent this season but he had a big impact every time he is available, even when he is at 80, 85, 90 per cent.
“So we do everything and Anthony Martial is doing everything. I think Anthony Martial is the player who has spent the most hours at Carrington this season, to recover, to get back, it is really a pity for him.”
Dutch striker Weghorst is among those trying to make an impact up front in Martial’s absence but the on-loan Burnley man has scored only one goal in six appearances since signing last month.
Ten Hag insists he is doing a good job and compared him to Marcus Rashford, who went through a difficult period before finding some of his best form for United and England.
“Martial has some capabilities he adds, he can be more variable, but what is definitely the case is Wout Weghorst is doing a real good job for us in pressing,” said the United boss.
“His offensive movements are very good and he is the one who makes players around him play better, to create spaces, and also he had some contributions in the box.
“As a team, we have to work better to anticipate his movements because his movements are good, quite a lot of times he was close. He had many good actions and already a lot of good contributions to our results.
“Especially for strikers, most of the time, it takes time. At the start of the season for Rashy, we discussed it often, and every time I say, ‘It will come. We have to work on routines, the team around has to act better, but I see his potential’.
“The same I see with Wout. He will score but, in the meantime, do the other stuff.”
Martial is among several absentees for Wednesday’s clash against Leeds, with Christian Eriksen, Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay also joined on the sidelines by Antony, who went off late on against Crystal Palace last weekend.
“I don’t think it is a long time but we have to see how it develops in the coming days,” said Ten Hag of the Brazilian’s injury. “It is in his leg, but I can’t specify.”
It was a foul on Antony that sparked the melee resulting in Casemiro being sent off, earning the key midfielder a three-match ban.
The red card also meant Ten Hag could not offer Jadon Sancho more match time after he was brought back into the fold.
The England man was given half an hour against Nottingham Forest, impressing Ten Hag, and could get another chance at Old Trafford on Wednesday.