Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been handed a worrying update over the fitness of forward Anthony Martial as attention turns back to club football this weekend.
The striker had previously sustained a knee injury in France’s second match of the international break, eventually being substituted in Les Blues’ 2-0 win against Kazakhstan on Sunday.
There was fleeting hope from manager Didier Deschamps that he would be fit enough to feature again versus Bosnia and Herzegovina with the 52-year-old suggesting that any serious problem had been “dismissed”.
Nevertheless, Martial was not included in his nation’s most recent squad, not even afforded a place on the bench, plunging his inclusion for the Premier League clash against Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend into severe doubt.
Despite having not quite hit his best form this season, with just seven goals and eight assists in all competitions, the Frenchman is still key for Solskjaer.
Having played in 36 matches in all competitions this season, only Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes have topped his total 15 direct goal contributions this season so he is likely to be a bigger miss than first considered.
As a matter of fact, former Red Devils’ forward Robin van Persie has labelled him as a “world class” player so if he is missing, it is surely going to be a blow.
Martial’s absence also exacerbates an ever-worsening crisis for Manchester United in attack this season. He has only just returned from a problem of his own, whilst fellow forward Rashford has missed the entirety of the international break with an ankle problem.
Elsewhere, Edinson Cavani has only made one start in his last eight games in all competitions due to a persistent injury.
If all of the Red Devils’ attacking trio are unavailable, this leaves Solskjaer with just Mason Greenwood, who has scored just one Premier League goal all season, to occupy the loan striker role.
The Norwegian then will see the international absence of Martial, who earns £250k per week at Old Trafford, as an extremely worrying development.