Anthony Martial could be about to break nine-year Manchester United curse

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Robin van Persie was the last Manchester United player to score more than 20 Premier League goals in a season.

During the 2012/13 campaign, the Dutch striker scored 26 times as he helped United reclaim their Premier League title. Since Sir Alex Ferguson parted ways with the club, no other player has managed to break the 20-goal barrier in the league for United.

It has now been nine years since Van Persie reached that milestone in what is a damning statistic for the club's attacking firepower. In fact, United are the only team from the so-called 'big six' who have not had at least one player score 20+ goals during a single season since 2013.

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A few United players have finished two goals shy of breaking the 20-goal barrier recently. Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo have both managed to score 18 league goals – Fernandes during the 2020/21 season and Ronaldo last season.

To add insult to injury, three teams outside the 'big six' have had players reach this milestone. Leicester's Jamie Vardy, former Everton striker Romelu Lukaku and ex-Southampton man Danny Ings have all scored 20 or more league goals since 2013 – Vardy has even achieved the feat on three occasions.

But United's luck could be about to change. Anthony Martial was prolific during the 2019/20 campaign where he managed to score 17 goals in the league as he operated as a central striker. However, Martial has since only scored five Premier League goals in the last two seasons and was sent out on loan to Sevilla where he didn't fare much better.

But the Frenchman looked back to his best during United's pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia. He has scored three times and assisted once, as he staked his claim to lead the line for United next season.

With the absence of Ronaldo, Martial has stepped up to spearhead the team. While the focus has been centred on Ronaldo's future, Martial has kept his head down and worked hard to get back to the player that many know he can be. With less than two weeks to go until the start of the new season, there is a clear target in mind for the 26-year-old to aim for.


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