Manchester United are poised to confirm the extent of Anthony Martial's foot injury ,which forced the France international to leave Wembley on crutches following a 2-0 friendly defeat to England. The 19-year-old was replaced by Antoine Griezmann after 67 minutes and was pictured leaving the stadium with his foot in a bandage.
France coach Didier Deschamps said Martial had suffered "a knock" to his left foot but was unable to provide further information regarding the injury. "He is in quite a bit of pain," he explained, according to the United website. "I think it is a knock to the top of his foot."
United confirmed via their official website that an update regarding Martial's fitness would be provided during Louis van Gaal's pre-match press conference to preview the Premier League trip to Watford. The Dutch coach is likely to be questioned over the extent of the blow, which would leave his side with wafer-thin attacking options.
Following the trip to Vicarage Road, United host PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League before travelling to Leicester City. Any immediate lay-off for Martial would make him a doubt for the trio of fixtures. With James Wilson also out injured, the club could be left with just one recognised senior striker in the form of Wayne Rooney.
Marouane Fellaini could be employed in attack, but the more likely option is that Van Gaal will dip into his youth ranks to cover for any loss of the summer signing from Monaco. The 64-year-old has not hesitated from blooding players from the Old Trafford academy and is unlikely to hold back despite being on the eve of an intense period of the campaign.
Sam Johnstone, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Sean Goss and Andreas Pereira have all been handed opportunities this season, while Axel Tuanzeba was an unused substitute for the Premier League draw with Crystal Palace. With regards to forward options, Marcus Ashford appears to be the next cab off the rank, having starred for the club's Under-19 side.
Promoting players from within while juggling a title challenge has impressed those within United, and academy coach Paul McGuinness is delighted to see the club's traditions maintained. "It's great for everybody at the club," he told their website. "I think they're very much aware within the hierarchy of the club as well, that being Manchester United is just not the same if it doesn't have a core of homegrown players.
"It's part of the ingredients, the brand and it wouldn't be the same if we didn't have homegrown players. You can see there are frustrations at one or two other clubs in the fact they're not getting homegrown players in and you've seen we had two or three involved the other week. You've got to applaud the manager for that and he's carrying on a very long tradition."