By Noel Whelan

5th Aug, 2022 | 5:19pm

Erik ten Hag forced to 'rip up' Man United plans after crushing news pre-Brighton - pundit

Noel Whelan has claimed Erik ten Hag may be forced to “rip up” his Man United game plan after a crushing injury to Anthony Martial.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 26-year-old had put himself in a “great position” to start against Brighton on 7 August after his pre-season form.

As per the Manchester Evening News (5 August), Martial has been ruled out of the season opener following an injury sustained against Atletico Madrid last week.

The France international had scored three goals in five starts in pre-season, filling the boots of absent forward Cristiano Ronaldo – who has since tentatively returned to full training.

Martial, who is out of contract in June 2024, spent the second half of last term out on loan at Sevilla but returned after an unsuccessful spell in La Liga.

Whelan suggested the door could now open for Marcus Rashford to impress his new boss.

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“He’s someone who had shown the right attitude and the right characteristics throughout pre-season,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“He put himself in a great position to start the first game of the season – but it’s the last thing he’ll have wanted.

“It’s far from ideal for Ten Hag, too. He’ll have been training and building around Martial and his talents, and now he’ll have to rip that up and start again.

“They’re going to have to revert to someone else. It might be Rashford, so that’s a real opportunity for him to stake his claim for that place and keep Martial out.

“Big clubs have these kinds of options.”

In other news, ex-boss insists Man United are “not happy” with Dean Henderson after incendiary comments.