Erik ten Hag has given an explanation for why he did not start Anthony Martial in Manchester United’s game against Brentford, even though Wout Weghorst was dropped to the bench.
Manchester United were expected to make changes to their attack on Wednesday, following a run of three Premier League games without scoring.
Wout Weghorst’s performances have contributed to this lack of goals, as he has only managed two shots on target in his 19 appearances since joining on loan in January.
Despite starting in all of his previous outings, Weghorst was named among the substitutes for the game against Brentford.
Jadon Sancho was included in the starting lineup, while Marcus Rashford, who scored the only goal in a 1-0 win, was once again asked to play as a central striker.
Ten Hag told reporters the reason why he didn’t select fit Martial to play in the central position, which allowed Rashford to stay on the flanks.
Man United finally reached 3 points after a miserable run, even without Martial
He said: “He was an option but I don’t think in this moment he is game fit enough to have a start. And there is also prevention.
“Obviously, when you see Anthony Martial’s record over the last years, you have to be really careful to plan it. So I don’t want to take that risk because I know when he is on the pitch he has a great impact on our performance.”
Ten Hag added that Rashford scored his 28th goal of the season and Sancho demonstrated his ability to play in any position on the frontline.
He said that the discussion could also include Jadon Sancho. Ten Hag believes that with three or four players in the frontline, Manchester United will have a strong attacking force, with plenty of creativity, intelligence, and pace.
He thinks that by playing together, they can create more and pose a greater threat to their opponents.
He said: “And the balance of that frontline will be good. But obviously you have to play more together.
“So happy it looks like he (Martial) is back and hopefully he stays fit until the end of the season and we can play him. But we have seen with others we have results, we proved that, that we are there and Anthony Martial is often not available but still we are there.”