‘Surprising’ Man Utd stat stunned Neville as he warns it could cost them title

Manchester United legend Phil Neville has admitted he was surprised by Anthony Martial’s lack of goals this season.

Martial scored the opening goal in the 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Friday with a header.

The strike was just the Frenchman’s second of the season in the Premier League, with Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford scoring the bulk of United’s goals this term.

And despite getting himself on the scoresheet, Neville insists he needs to up his tally in front of goal to help the Red Devils title charge.

“I was actually surprised by that stat [of Martial's goal record this season], I didn't know that stat before it was said in the interview,” Neville told Premier League Productions.

“He's someone that needs to score more goals, needs to score 10 to 15 goals a season, I think he needs to be up to that mark for United to have a chance of winning the league.

“He can't just rely on a [Marcus] Rashford or a Fernandes to score the goals. He needs to be hitting those types of figures. I'd like to see him be more ruthless.”

Neville admits that Martial appears to have turned a corner, much like the rest of his side, and urged him to find a run of form in the new year.

“This was a really good finish,” Neville added. “It was a good ball from Wan-Bissaka, but the guide of the header was really good and hopefully now he can get a run of games, a run of form, a run of rhythm.

“He looks fitter and I want to see him go on a run now of scoring goals.”

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thinks Martial has found his shooting boots again, and backed him to find the kind of form Neville spoke about.

Solskjaer told the club website: “We have spoken about last season and how important he was for us then and he is going to be important for us this season.

“Player’s form is temporary but when you have got class that is permanent. I think he has proven he is class.

“Now he is getting fitter and fitter and that means he is going to get better and better.“

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