Forget About Sergio Aguero And Harry Kane, This Manchester United Striker Is The Player To Win The Golden Boot
The 2018/19 season has been one to forget for Manchester United so far but there has been a glimmer of light shining through the dark clouds surrounding a 'Theatre Of Dreams' that has witnessed some of the most turgid football in living memory.
The one man who has managed to rise above the mediocrity to provide a cut and thrust that would have been welcome in the era of Sir Alex Ferguson is Anthony Martial.
The Frenchman appeared to be on his way out of Old Trafford in the summer when he was fined and disciplined by manager Jose Mourinho after returning to pre-season training late following the birth of his child. The 22-year-old looked set to spend a few months on the fringes, pondering his next career move.
Four months on and Martial is still perhaps considering that next move as he is still yet to extend a contract that expires in 2020, with Juventus and Chelsea both showing interest, but he can now look forward from a position of strength following a wonderful run of scoring form.
The United attacker has scored in five successive Premier League games, scoring six goals in total, and his excellent performances have seen him become a regular in the first team.
There are signs that he is finally maturing as a player this season. He made 30 league appearances last term, scoring nine goals, but it is telling that he was only trusted to complete 90 minutes on six occasions.
This season, Martial has completed the full 90 minutes in four of United's past five league games and they are reaping the rewards of his new found confidence. The French star has scored six goals in just 621 minutes on the pitch, averaging a goal every 104 minutes - that's the best minutes-per-goal ratio of any of the leading scorers in the league this season.
Sergio Aguero has scored eight goals at an average of one every 111 minutes, Eden Hazard has seven and finds the net every 112 minutes, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also has seven and has notched every 122 minutes he has been on the pitch.
Martial's importance to this United team is further emphasised by the fact he has scored 30% (six of 20) of United's goal this term, which is the same percentage as Harry Kane has scored for Tottenham and the Spurs striker averages a goal every 179 minutes so far.
The challenge for Martial is to keep producing the goods on a consistent basis. If he does that then the bookmakers' 50/1 for him to win the Premier League Golden Boot looks like a very generous price!
Martial needs to produce the goods on a consistent basis to give those dark clouds hovering over Old Trafford a chance to disperse. He provides United with a basis from which to go on and challenge for silverware, although the mood could darken if those contract talks continue to stall. If he were to leave, there will be no shortage of suitors for Martial.