Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has criticized Erik ten Hag’s decision to isolate Anthony Martial from group training at Manchester United, questioning the motives behind the move.
Martial, who hasn’t played for the Red Devils since December 9 due to illness, is reportedly set to leave the club when his contract expires in the summer.
Ten Hag stated that the decision is aimed at improving Martial’s fitness and is not a disciplinary action.
However, Agbonlahor suggests that the prolonged recovery time might indicate other undisclosed reasons behind the move, speculating that Martial’s reluctance to leave the club could be a factor.
Expressing his disapproval of the solitary training approach, Agbonlahor draws parallels to his own experience at Aston Villa under Roberto Di Matteo, where he resisted pressure to leave the club after relegation to the Championship.
The former Chelsea boss reportedly attempted to force Agbonlahor out, leading to a challenging period of training alone or with the under-23s.
Agbonlahor emphasizes the emotional toll such isolation can take on a player, highlighting the demoralizing effect of waking up each day with a sense of purposelessness.
He contends that, while Martial may not put in enough effort, the solitary training approach is not the ideal solution, echoing his personal experience of facing a similar situation at Aston Villa.