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Should Man United stick or twist on two hit and miss stars?

Anthony Martial man united

Two divisive figures.

Manchester United continued their strong start to pre-season with a 4-1 win over Melbourne Victory on Friday afternoon.

Goals came from Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford and an own-goal saw United run out 4-1 winners against the Australian side.

This comes days after a 4-0 win over Liverpool, with things seemingly going swimmingly in the United camp under Erik ten Hag.

Martial has scored two nice goals in two games, with the Frenchman tasked with starting up front due to Cristiano Ronaldo’s continued absence.

Anthony Martial at Man United

Since joining United, a section of the fanbase always felt as though he was among the most talented in the squad, and he has shown it in the past too. But never on a consistent basis.

United don’t seem to be in the market for a central striker, which makes it appear as though the divisive Martial could be the main man this season.

Perhaps Ten Hag’s faith would be repaid with bags of goals, but more cautious supporters will be aware of the fact that Martial has never had a fully consistent season at the club.

And if Martial is a controversial figure among United fans, Eric Bailly is that times a thousand.

Eric Bailly

In two pre-season halves, the Ivorian defender has shown that he is capable of doing things that Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof wouldn’t be able to achieve in their wildest dreams.

His athleticism and defensive awareness helped United scored the fourth of the day against Liverpool, something that no other United defender could have done.

Against Melbourne, he played an inch-perfect pass to Rashford, who slotted the ball calmly past the goalkeeper.

If Bailly were to stay fit for a full season, United would gain one of the most talented defenders in the league without having to spend a cent.

But unfortunately, that is a huge if, so big that’s basically impossible. Bailly will not remain fit for a full season, and Ten Hag has to take that into account when he makes his decision.

Whether or not he stays or is sold, one thing is for sure – if it weren’t for injuries, Bailly would be looked at very differently by the footballing world.

Read next: Matt Doherty on Antonio Conte’s pre-season “torture”

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