Anthony Martial vs Jesse Lingard: Solving The Selection Headache For The Manchester United Manager

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With yet another stalemate at the weekend, Manchester United and Jose Mourinho have now slipped to the 8th place in the points table, equally away from the top of the table and the relegation zone. They found it hard to break a gritty Burnley defense at Old Trafford and are now in desperate need of some positive results. The manager has used a number of different combinations in the midfield and in the final third but has not been able to stick to his best so far this season. There are a number of choices that the manager has to make in every game but one decision that is quickly becoming a headache for Mourinho is whether to star Jesse Lingard or Anthony Martial.

With the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford taking two of the four attacking places in the side, Mourinho has just two places to use the likes of Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, Lingard, Martial and even Paul Pogba who will compete for a number 10 role and a role on the wing. In recent games, Martial and Lingard have been fighting for one place on the wing and though such competition will improve both the players, it is a decision that will trouble Mourinho every week. So who should the manager start and why? Here is a break up of who suits the Red Devils better:

A genuine striker by trait, Marital, has just not been able to get a place in the side as a striker and has had to be happy playing from the flanks in attack. However, he adjusted himself to the needs on the wing with minimal fuzz and has been influential at times this season. Known for his dazzling feet and goal scoring ability, Marital, has just 1 goal to his name in 7 league games this season – a stunner against Stoke.

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Lingard, an English youngster who broke through the first team under LVG, has provided the side with a completely different approach and has helped them improve their command on the midfield during games. He is yet to score a goal in the league this season but has been extensively used by Mourinho in all competitions.

Here is a statistic comparison of both players:

In the 5 games he has played this season, Lingard has a successful passing percentage of 89% while Martial fares at 86%. Lingard steals way ahead in the key passes list. The English international has 12 key passes in 5 games, twice of what Martial has in his 7 games, although we cannot overlook the fact that Martial has only been a presence from the bench. Lingard also fares better in the chances created list with 13 to his name this season while Martial is at 8. Both players have a similar take on success rates and duels won rate this season while Lingard has made 2 interceptions compared to just the one from Martial.

Both players provide different threats in the final third for Manchester United and at the moment, Lingard is slightly a better option. However, Martial is one of the most exciting players in the league and will only get better with more game time he gets under his belt. It is a conundrum that could well keep Mourinho up in the night but in current form, Lingard should slightly be ahead of Martial in the pecking order.

Who according to you should make it to the first team consistently at Old Trafford? Anthony Martial or Jesse Lingard.

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