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Erik ten Hag hints at key Man Utd role for Anthony Martial

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag appears to have all but confirmed that Anthony Martial will be his first-choice striker moving forward, as long as the Frenchman can stay fit.

Martial has missed most of United’s season so far because of injury but has managed six goal contributions across his six appearances in all competitions – including a goal against Aston Villa on Thursday night in his first start since August.

United lack depth up front, with Cristiano Ronaldo the only real alternative ‘number nine’ since the summer departure of Edinson Cavani. Marcus Rashford can also play centrally but is best suited and more comfortable operating from a wide position.

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“He plays very well in a lot of aspects of football, I’m happy with that, except his availability. But we also have others and we have played with Marcus Rashford as the nine. We also have Cristiano Ronaldo, so we have more options there,” Ten Hag explained on Friday.

“It’s quite clear in my way of playing, I like the type that Anthony Martial is because he can hold the ball, he’s a target, he can link up, he can also run behind, he has speed, he can finish and he’s a good presser.

“I’m so happy he’s back now and that we can manage him and that he stays fit because he is an important part of the squad.”

Martial famously hit the ground running when he first arrived at United as a teenager in 2015, finishing his debut season with 17 goals in total. The former Monaco talent went off the boil in the years that followed amid competition from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and later Romelu Lukaku, yet he outlasted both and then scored a career high 23 goals during the 2019/20 campaign.

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Injuries and poor form have hampered Martial since then and it looked as his United career was coming to an end when he joined Sevilla on loan midway through last season. But Martial has now been given a fresh start under Ten Hag.



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EPL

Conor Coady responds to ‘daft’ question about Liverpool allegiance

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Conor Coady has told England teammate Jordan Henderson to do better in his goading after the Liverpool captain taunted him over his Everton connection.

Coady was a product of the Liverpool youth system and made a solitary appearance for his boyhood club in the 2012 Europa League. He has since moved on to Huddersfield Town and Wolves before joining Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton on loan last summer.

Speaking on the latest episode of Lion’s Den from England’s World Cup camp, though, Henderson could not resist trying to wind up Coady by quizzing him on his allegiances.

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“Conor, we are all England here,” Henderson said. “But what I really want to know is: are you blue or red?”

Henderson then started laughing, which prompted a similar response from Coady, who appeared both irritated and amused by the question.

“It’s so poor from him,” Coady said while smiling. “We have banter all the time. Of course, I am playing for Everton. He knows deep down.

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

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If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

“So, for him to come out there and ask that question is daft. Of course, I am blue. Of course, I am blue, without a shadow of a doubt.

“For him to say that…you know what I am going to go back there sit down and have a coffee with him. I will give him a bit. That’s nowhere near good enough from the big fella. Blue all day long.”

Everton have a clause allowing them to sign Coady permanently from Wolves this summer for a fee of just £4.5m.

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Club director leaves door open to Chelsea transfer in January

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Dynamo Moscow director Dmitry Gafin has admitted young midfielder Arsen Zakharyan could seal his move to Chelsea in January.

The Blues attempted to sign the 19-year-old during the summer transfer window but complexities involved in dealing with a Russian club left them unable to complete a deal for Zakharyan before the window closed.

Since then, sources have informed 90min that Chelsea have not given up on Zakharyan, who comes with a release clause of around £12.6m, and have remained in contact with all relevant authorities in an attempt to conclude a transfer.

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Talks have been held between Chelsea and FIFA, UEFA and the Premier League to try and find a way to work within the current rules regarding dealing with Russian clubs, with Blues co-owner Todd Boehly still very keen to get a deal done.

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

In Moscow, club director Gafin has conceded that talks with Chelsea could reignite in January.

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“We cannot rule out the resumption of history with Chelsea in winter, I cannot comment on the information that appears and will appear,” he told TASS.

Gafin was, however, quick to question claims that Zakharyan has already agreed personal terms with Chelsea, insisting Dynamo Moscow have not given the club permission to speak with the Russia international just yet.

“Regarding his alleged contract with Chelsea, we don’t know anything about this, we did not give permission for such contacts,” he said. “I think this is from the rumour mill.”



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Antonee Robinson praises career revival of USMNT & Fulham teammate Tim Ream

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United States Men’s National Team full-back Antonee Robinson has heaped praise on his club and international teammate Tim Ream for his late-career renaissance.

At 35 years old, Ream has gone from being on the outside of the USMNT setup, picking up just one cap in 2020, to being a rock at the heart of Gregg Berhalter’s defense in Qatar.

Ream’s revival has been thanks to his incredible form in the Premier League with Fulham, with the veteran center-back coming first among his teammates in a number of key metrics so far, such as interceptions (21), blocks (23), clearances (50), and passes completed (715).

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The man next to him both at club and international level, Robinson, has enjoyed Ream’s career turnaround firsthand and has revealed just how much it means to him.

“The standard that [Ream] has been at, it’s been amazing,” Robinson told ESPN. “He’s such a calming presence on the ball. It’s no shock to me. I’ve played with him for a long-enough time now to know what he’s all about. But to see him actually come out on this stage, when it was at one point looking like he wouldn’t be here, and raise his level even more than he has done already this season, it means a lot to me.”

Ream and the USMNT have a great chance to reach the World Cup knockout stages when they face Iran on Tuesday, with a victory enough to see them finish at least second in Group B. Anything less and they’ll find themselves on the next plane home from Qatar and planning for their 2026 campaign as co-hosts.

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.

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