Dimitar Berbatov has urged Anthony Martial to “up his game” at Manchester United after the striker’s slow start to the season.
Martial, 24, has scored just two goals in 10 games and there are growing calls for veteran forward Edinson Cavani to start ahead of him.
Cavani, 33, led United to a remarkable 3-2 comeback victory at Southampton last weekend with two goals and an assist after coming off the bench for the second half.
The stunning display prompted Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to start Cavani up front against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, with Martial fielded on the left flank.
Cavani went close against his former club as he clipped the bar with an audacious lob, while it was another quiet night for Martial.
And former United striker Berbatov admits Martial risks losing his spot to his older teammate if he cannot improve his performances quickly.
“I was thinking about him [Martial] and there were fans messaging me on social media about him asking what is going on with him and why he isn’t producing and scoring goals,” Berbatov told Betfair .
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“He needs to up his game, not only him but the whole team too. In the really important games he need to shine even more.
“I’ve been surprised with how well Edinson Cavani has performed, the guy is 33 years old and he’s running around the pitch like he’s a 25-year-old, fighting for the ball, making spaces, the passion he had is still there and that is something that Martial needs to look at and improve on. He needs to bully defenders and get dirty from time to time.
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“He has the other attributes like technique, speed and stamina and other things like that, but in some games, like the one against PSG, you need to be a bit nasty and when you have an opportunity to score, you need to score.”
Martial scored 23 times in all competitions last season – his best goalscoring campaign to date – and Berbatov is confident the Frenchman can rekindle his form.
Berbatov added: “I hope it’s just a blip for him because I like him as a player and as a human, I hope he can continue and get better with his development.
“I can tell that Solskjaer likes him a lot as well with the amount of game time he is getting. Hopefully, after the games, win or lose he looks for advice from Ole, and with Cavani there he can see how he is moving around and they’ve both been in the French league so they will know each other.
“The examples are around him, he only needs to look around him and ask, it’s as simple as that. On the training pitch he just needs to stay and work on things that may be missing from his game.”
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