As of such, when the lineups were announced prior to the United match starting, an astonishing attacking omission existed. Alexis Sanchez was not present in the matchday squad at all, with Anthony Martial given the left attacking spot instead.
This was a surprising move, as Mourinho in the past has been known to not change a winning team, nor place much trust in Martial. As of such, supporters were rightly questioning the absence, and now we have the reason why.
Rob Dawson of ESPN tweeted the following: “Alexis Sanchez not playing against Brighton today because of injury. Wasn’t mentioned by Mourinho on Friday but training was after the press conference.”
Further, Mourinho himself stated: “Alexis was going to play but he had a little problem, so we had to decide to give an opportunity to another attacking player.”
United fans will be hoping that the Chilean hasn’t received any major injury, as their list of woes is already six-man strong. However, the club is laden with earnest supporters of Martial, and they will be delighted to see the Frenchman in action.
For much of the summer, Martial was embroiled in multiple links to a departure, with frustration with playing time being cited as the reason. Now, such a cameo will be crucial to him winning back Mourinho’s trust and proving his fans right.
With the fixture minutes from kicking off, the bigger question is whether or not Martial is able to put in a showing that will truly give Mourinho a selection dilemma in the future.