Deschamps send message to Anthony Martial after ‘clumsy’ finishing vs Portugal

France boss Didier Deschamps admits he’s been impressed by the change he’s seen in Anthony Martial over the course of the last 18 months.

The Manchester United forward has been selected for the last three national squads after a difficult period in which he was overlooked by Deschamps.

Martial has always had the talent to play for his country but he’s had difficulties off the pitch in recent years that have stunted his growth on the field.

The former Monaco ace was given a chance to impress in a Nations League against Portugal last week but squandered three good chances to score as his side won 1-0.

Despite being replaced by Olivier Giroud late on, Deschamps admits he was impressed with Martial and has seen good signs of change in his form on the pitch and his demeanour off it.

‘He lacked in finishing – it seemed a little bit clumsy,” Deschamps told French media outlet TF1.

‘But sincerely, having watched the moments again, it came down to small margins.

‘He is part of the group of players who have not been here for a long period of time, but he has changed during this period, on the pitch and off of it.

‘With years, he has also gained maturity. He is much more determined – he already had quality. Things are more concrete.

‘I feel a bit unfortunate for him because he was not rewarded with a goal [against Portugal] but he is very promising.’

Martial has had a stop-start opening to the season, scoring just twice so far.

The Frenchman was sent off in United’s third game of the season during a dismal 6-1 defeat to Spurs and therefore missed the next three games.

In Europe, Martial scored an own goal in a 2-1 win against Paris Saint-Germain.

However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping the forward is up to speed as the club look to get their season back on track against West Brom on Saturday.

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