Manchester United’s French striker Anthony Martial (R) attempts a shot but is stopped by Middlesbrough’s Colombian defender Bernardo Espinosa during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Middlesbrough at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 31, 2016.
Oli SCARFF / AFP
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has warned Anthony Martial he must listen to him rather than his agent if he wants to be a success at Old Trafford.
Martial was United’s top scorer last season with 17 goals, but his equaliser in Saturday’s 2-1 home win over Middlesbrough was just his second Premier League goal of the season and fifth in all competitions.
And Mourinho believes the French player’s agent Philippe Lamboley is a problem amid reports he is “studying” an option for Martial to move to Sevilla.
“Anthony has to listen to me and not listen to his agent,” said former Chelsea boss Mourinho.
“Martial played, he created, he scored. He fought. He was very positive. I know he is a top talent.
“He is a player with amazing conditions to be a top player.
“He has to listen to me in training every day, every feedback I give to try and improve players.
The Portuguese coach said Martial should follow the example of Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan who struggled for game time in the early part of Mourinho’s reign before finding form with three goals in his past four games.
“With the Mkhitaryan process, I was having almost every day his agent calling me and saying ‘Mkhitaryan with you will be a better player’,” said Mourinho.
“With Martial, every day I read the newspaper and Martial is going to Sevilla, Martial goes on loan, Martial is not happy.
“Martial has to listen to me.”
Grant Leadbitter’s goal after 67 minutes gave Aitor Karanka’s unfancied visitors a surprise advantage until Martial swept home on 85 minutes and Paul Pogba won it 87 seconds later with a fine header.
The late turnaround — reminiscent of the glory years of the watching Alex Ferguson on his 75th birthday — sealed United’s fifth consecutive Premier League victory and they are now unbeaten in 12 matches in all competitions.
“I think it’s nice,” said Mourinho.
“If the fans remember this not just for Sir Alex’s birthday but for the kind of performance we had, I think it’s a great tribute.
“It’s a very good match to finish the year.”