This season has seen mixed fortunes for Manchester United’s French players, with Morgan Schneiderlin being underused by Louis van Gaal and struggling to impress when he did play, while Anthony Martial has gone from a ‘waste of money’ to our team’s top scorer.
Tom Coast has discussed what role they will play in France’s team at the Euros.
How important are these players to France?
Once a guaranteed pick under Didier Deschamps, Schneiderlin’s season at United failed to earn him a spot in the original 23, mostly because of Lassana Diarra’s resurgence and N’Golo Kanté’s emergence. In the end, Diarra’s injury meant Deschamps had little choice to call him up from the reserve list.
As for Anthony Martial, the forward was definitely one of the most important players for the country, but his thigh problem that left him out of the Cameroon friendly and most of the Scotland one means Dimitri Payet, who performed very well in his stead, will probably get the nod against Romania on Friday.
How is their time at United viewed in France?
There was a sense of annoyance when Schneiderlin was called up to replace Lassana Diarra, at least in some areas of the French press, with many believing that Adrien Rabiot, Paris Saint-Germain’s young midfielder, should have been called up instead. That says a lot about how Schneiderlin’s first season at United is seen in France.
Martial, on the other hand, has been one of the revelations of the season for France supporters, with many in awe of what he has achieved in such little time at his new club. While they all knew the potential was there from his appearances at Monaco, especially the during the second half of the 2014-15 season, no one thought he’d have such an impact for such a big club so quickly. He’s very unlucky not to be in the starting line-up for France at the moment, but when you look at Payet’s season and his performances in the last two friendlies when Martial was being monitored for a thigh niggle, you can’t blame Deschamps for going with the West Ham man.
How well do you expect their country to do in the Euros?
France, on home soil, with their attacking prowess, should win it. Whether the two United players have any impact on this remains to be seen, but if one of the two does, it’ll be Martial. Schneiderlin will most likely (barring injuries) not see much game time, with both Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko ahead of him in Deschamps’ eyes.