Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has countered interim boss Ralf Rangnick's claims about his absence from the matchday squad for their game against Aston Villa. United drew 2-2 at Villa Park on Saturday (15 January).
Following the draw, Rangnick told the press that it was Martial who did not want to be in the squad in the first place. The German tactician said:
"Yes, he didn't want to be in the squad. He would have been in the squad normally but he didn't want to and that was the reason why he didn't travel with us yesterday."
Following the statement from his manager, Martial took to Instagram to hit back at the false accusations by stating the following:
"I will never refuse to play a match for Man United. I've been here for 7 years and I never disrespected and never will disrespect the club and the fans."
It is worth mentioning that as per the Premier League rules, each team is allowed to name nine players as substitutes. However, Manchester United named only eight substitutes, with two of them being goalkeepers. The Red Devils were already without two forwards in Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford, reportedly due to injuries.
This is not the first time Martial has been left out of the matchday squad entirely. The Frenchman hasn't featured for the club since their 3-2 home win over Arsenal in early December. Coincidentally, it was Manchester United's final game before the arrival of Rangnick.
It is no secret that Martial wants to leave Old Trafford at the earliest to secure regular first-team football. The 26-year-old forward reportedly had a loan offer from Sevilla turned down by the Red Devils earlier this month.
Martial has been frozen out of the first-team squad this season and has barely featured. The former AS Monaco forward has only made 10 appearances across all competitions, scoring just once.
Aston Villa's fighting spirit saw them secure a 2-2 draw after Manchester United were cruising with a 2-0 lead midway through the second period.
The Red Devils took the lead early in the first half when goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez spilled the ball into the net from a Bruno Fernandes effort. The Portuguese playmaker scored his second in the second half with United looking destined to grab all three points.
However, Aston Villa rallied on and got a goal back through Jacob Ramsey in the 77th minute. Four minutes later new signing and former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho scored the equalizer for Steven Gerrard's side.
The draw means Manchester United remain seventh in the Premier League standings. Ralf Rangnick's side have now amassed 32 points from 20 matches and are five points adrift of fourth place.