Michael Owen says Martial still has to prove his long-term credentials at Utd

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Michael Owen feels that Anthony Martial still needs to prove himself as Manchester United’s long-term number 9 following the first Premier League hat-trick of his career.

Martial scored all three goals as United beat Sheffield United at Old Trafford on Wednesday, and Owen has urged him to capitalise on the chance to become a pivotal player for the club.

‘Now is the right time to be playing as a centre-forward for Manchester United with the likes of [Paul] Pogba, [Bruno] Fernandes and all these players around you.

‘Is he one that’s going to be the number nine for years to come? At the minute, he looks very inconsistent. Is he going to constantly score a lot of goals?

‘There is still a question mark – and there is still a question mark over what his best position is.

‘I probably think it’s off the left, but then again that’s probably Marcus Rashford’s best position.

‘They are shuffling the pack a little bit at the moment but if you ask most people where Manchester United need to strengthen, they will say they need a main number nine.’

Martial has scored 14 goals in 26 Premier League appearances this season, eclipsing his previous record of 11 goals in the campaign after he joined the club in 2015.

‘We’re judging a team that have been below par for a long time,’ said Owen, who was impressed by United’s performance. ‘Now, all of a sudden, they’ve got a lot of good players.

‘They had three or four situations…Rashford missed a chance in the first half and if he had put it in, it would have been one of the goals of the season. The intricate play on the edge of the box was absolutely brilliant.’

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