Anthony Martial latest: Will Man Utd striker play vs Real Sociedad? What has Erik ten Hag said?

The Manchester United forward could return in Thursday’s Europa League game.
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Anthony Martial returned to Manchester United training on Monday as the Red Devils began their preparations for Thursday’s Europa League clash with Real Sociedad.

Erik ten Hag’s men need to win by at least two clear goals in order to ensure they top Group E and avoid a play-off against a Champions League drop out in the next round of the competition. Therefore, the return of Martial will be a huge boost for United.

The striker has struggled for game-time this season due to injury and has played just 133 minutes for the Red Devils all term, making one start due to three separate problems. Ahead of Thursday’s game, we have the latest on Martial and whether he could be available for selection.

What happened on Monday?

Martial was filmed at Carrington participating in a keep-ball drill with his United team-mates, those who didn’t start in the win over West Ham United on Sunday.

Martial’s return to training came as something of a surprise on Monday. Credit: Getty.Martial’s return to training came as something of a surprise on Monday. Credit: Getty.
Martial’s return to training came as something of a surprise on Monday. Credit: Getty.

The footage on United’s website showed the Frenchman taking part in the full session, as was Aaron Wan-Bissaka, another who has suffered from injury this season. The 10 outfield players who started against West Ham were also seen taking part in a separate session.

When did Martial get injured?

The 26-year-old suffered a back injury against Everton on 9 October, a problem which kept Martial out for three weeks. The former Monaco man began the term with a hamstring issue that prevented him playing in the first two matches of the season.

He recovered and came off the bench in the 2-1 win over Liverpool on 22 August, before picking up an Achilles injury that ruled him out until October. Martial returned for the Manchester derby at the start of last month, scoring two off the bench. He then played in the 3-2 away win over Omonia Nicosia before suffering the back injury three days later at Goodison Park.

Martial picked up his latest injury in the victory at Goodison Park earlier this month. Credit: Getty.Martial picked up his latest injury in the victory at Goodison Park earlier this month. Credit: Getty.
Martial picked up his latest injury in the victory at Goodison Park earlier this month. Credit: Getty.

What did Ten Hag say?

Speaking last week, Ten Hag said Martial had suffered a setback but also did imply he wasn’t far off a return to the team. “He [Martial] is making progress, he’s outside, he’s working there, he’s on the pitch and we’re waiting for his step back in team training,” the Dutchman explained on Thursday. “He had a [recent] setback [on the injury], as he fell out against Everton with his back.

“He’s had some injuries, it’s really frustrating for us but also for him. We’ve seen him play well in pre-season. He’s had less minutes but he’s scored already three goals.

“Against Everton, he had an important role with the first goal, his assist for Antony. It would be really good to have him back because he can make the difference, he can score goals, but also linking up he’s really important and his pressing is really good.”

Will Martial play against Real Sociedad?

That remains unknown, and Ten Hag will almost certainly be asked for an update during Wednesday’s pre-match press conference. Yet, given the attacker is back in full training, it seems likely that Martial will be involved in the matchday squad that travels to Spain.

He almost certainly won’t be able to start due to his extended stretch on the sidelines, but having the No.9 as a late option off the bench could be a huge boost for United if the score is tight in the latter stages of the clash with Sociedad.

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