By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Anthony Martial will find himself the centre of attention in the next two months as he will be given an extended opportunity by Manchester United to play in his favourite position.
Louis van Gaal has revealed that the world’s most expensive teenage signing prefers to spearhead the attack rather than play out wide, as he as done in recent months.
Wayne Rooney’s knee injury leaves Martial as the only senior striker option at Old Trafford and Van Gaal has few options.
James Wilson looks unlikely to be recalled from his loan spell at Brighton as United are ready to rely on Martial, rookie Will Keane and emergency options Memphis Depay and Marouane Fellaini.
Wilson has scored just once in nine matches for Championship club Brighton after finding the net twice in the first three games.
“At this point I can call James Wilson back, but I have possibilities with Will Keane and Anthony Martial,” Van Gaal said at his media briefing on Wednesday. “Martial has played several matches in this role. He wants to play in this role also.”
Rooney could miss up to 16 matches with an injury that could rule him out until mid-April.
Rooney has made 32 appearances for United this season, a record bettered only by Chris Smalling (37), Daley Blind and Juan Mata (both 36).
The 30-year-old’s form has been mixed during what has been a troubled campaign at Old Trafford, but he has been back to somewhere near his best since he was dropped for the 2-0 Boxing Day defeat at Stoke. Rooney has scored seven goals in his last nine United appearances.