Ashley Young: France 'Missing Out' on Anthony Martial After Squad Omission

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2019

Manchester United's Ashley Young congratulates Manchester United's Anthony Martial after Young scored his sides 2nd goal of the game during their English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

Manchester United defender Ashley Young believes France are "missing out" on Anthony Martial after he was left out of the squad for the upcoming international fixtures.

The world champions will face Moldova and Albania in their final two UEFA 2020 European Championship qualifying matches, although they will not have the Red Devils forward to call on as he was omitted from Didier Deschamps' squad.

It means Martial's absence on the international stage will continue, as the forward has not played for Les Bleus since March 2018. Young has said he's unsure as to why his team-mate isn't getting opportunities for his country, per Robin Bairner of Goal:

"For me I think France are missing out—I can't understand why he's not in their squad. That is up to them but he can only get better. You can see he is a natural goal scorer. The way Anthony plays with Marcus Rashford is unplayable at times. Anthony was a big miss when he was injured.

"...Some of the combinations from the boys up front was unbelievable for us watching at the back. At times this season, we've blown teams away with our attacking. When you watch us going forward you think it is only going to be a matter of time before we score."

Martial's campaign has been disrupted by injury issues, although when he has been on the field he's been effective for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team. The 23-year-old showed off his talent with this fantastic goal in Thursday's UEFA Europa League win over Partizan Belgrade:

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Per Match of the Day, since returning from his injury layoff, Martial has been productive in front of goal:

This season, Solskjaer has used Martial at the point of the attack and he's been able to get into dangerous positions more often as a result.

As of yet, he doesn't appear to have done enough to sufficiently impress Deschamps, though, with the France boss overlooking Martial for the upcoming matches. In fairness to the national coach, he is blessed with a number of high-class options in the final third:

Olivier Giroud's inclusion may raise a few eyebrows among supporters given he has made just one start for Chelsea in the Premier League this season and is behind Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi in the pecking order.

Per French football writer Jeremy Smith, Deschamps explained his thinking behind including the veteran:

For Martial, getting in the squad will be a challenge, with Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Wissam Ben Yedder and Kingsley Coman all high-class operators. Ousmane Dembele was another big name omitted from the squad too.

The United man will need consistency in terms of form and fitness over the remainder of the season if he's to make it into the squad for the European Championships next summer. The Red Devils will benefit hugely if he can hit those heights regularly.