Manchester United NEWS: Anthony Martial Replaces Wayne Rooney In Premier League

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Feb 19, 2016 09:32 AM EST
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Anthony Martial
Manchester United's Anthony Martial celebrates a goal in a 2016 match."

Manchester United's season really cannot get any worse at this point. The team is struggling across the board from multiple losses in the Premier League to falling to FC Midtjylland in Europa League play. To make matters worse, United will be without their top striker in Wayne Rooney during a key stretch in the Premier League as Anthony Martial takes over.

According to ESPNFC.com, Rooney will miss the next two months with a knee injury. While Rooney's play has been questionable this year, there is no doubt the team would like to have him during this next stretch of matches while he will miss time with Manchester United and the England national team as they prepare to play in the European Championship this summer.

"Certainly in 2016, he has scored, and that's why we had a good run in matches until Sunderland," manager Louis Van Gaal said. "But we have to cope with that. Everybody can be injured, and also the captain can be injured."

With Rooney out, Manchester United fans will get a look at the future. Martial will be replacing him as the full-time starter in the striker role until Rooney is healthy. Martial has 10 goals in 31 games showing that he can be just as deadly on the pitch when given the chance. Van Gaal told the media that he has full confidence in Martial despite his youth and inexperience.

"Martial has played several matches in this role. He wants to play in this role," Van Gaal said, via the Daily Mail.

Another option should Martial struggle is Will Keane who saw his fist time on the squad during Europa play. Van Gaal expects Keane to continue traveling with the team to gain experience. Keane is a proven striker with the Under-21 team. He did not see time with Manchester United faced off against Midtjylland, but he is expected to be around for the Premier League and Van Gaal could play him if injuries get worse.

"He's always training with us, with the first selection, and he's scoring a lot of goals now," Van Gaal said, via United's official website. "He is also in the squad tomorrow and I hope that he shall continue with scoring goals because that is very important for a striker."

Rooney was on an upswing prior to the injury. The loss of him will be hard for Manchester United, but confidence is high in Martial. The team's next match is against Shrewsbury Town before heading back into the Premier League.

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