Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he has no problem with Anthony Martial being in Paris last weekend after he was left out of the squad for the game with Stoke City.
The 21-year-old reportedly went to France, while his team-mates were struggling to a 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium thanks to Wayne Rooney’s late equaliser.
However, Mourinho says it is not a problem that Martial spent the weekend away and explained why he was happy for the forward to take some time out.
“Normally, I take one of the (left out) players to prevent any problem in the warm-up,” Mourinho told a pre-match press conference ahead of Thursday’s clash with Hull City.
“But we don’t have many days off, so I like to give the (other) players some freedom to choose if they need a weekend off when they are not selected. If, for him, it was better to go to Paris, that’s completely fine.”
Although Martial was fit for the game, he was left out again by Mourinho and the Frenchman has been far from a regular this season.
Despite finishing last season as the club’s top scorer, Martial has found it tougher going second time around and has only managed six goals so far this season.
In fact Martial has only made nine Premier League starts this season, his last coming in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool on 15 January, a game in which he struggled to make an impact and was replaced by Juan Mata after 65 minutes.
Although Memphis Depay has left the club, Martial is still facing stiff competition for a place in the team with Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all having played out wide this season.
The youngster has been linked with a move away from the club with Sevilla believed to be keen on a loan but there seems little chance of him being allowed to leave this winter.
United’s cup commitments mean their fixture list is becoming congested and means Martial will have chances to find his best form and impress Mourinho in the coming months.