Sunday 11 December 2016

Anthony Martial's agent says Arsene Wenger 'turned down chance' to sign him before United

Callum Davis

Published 25/09/2015 | 14:58

Anthony Martial's agent has questioned Arsene Wenger's assessment of the teenager
Anthony Martial's agent has questioned Arsene Wenger's assessment of the teenager

Anthony Martial's agent has revealed Arsene Wenger passed up on the opportunity to sign the teenager because he saw him as 'more of a winger'.

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The French forward has proved a revelation since arriving at Manchester United, scoring four goals in four games in all competitions.

However, it's emerged Marital could have been an Arsenal player if he were not for Arsene Wenger's scepticism over the player's best position.

Martial's agent, Philippe Lamboley, who brokered the £36m deal that saw the former Monaco-man arrive at Old Trafford, criticised Wenger for not signing Martial himself.

Arsene Wenger has previously admitted tracking the French prodigy, but chose to pass up on signing him, because he saw him more as a winger rather than the striker he was looking for.

Lamboley admitted his surprise at Wenger's assessment of the 19-year-old, and questioned Wenger's conviction in the transfer market.

"I am surprised by the analysis of Arsene Wenger, who has apparently been following him since he was a teenager. Anthony is a true modern centre-forward who can play a part," Lamboley said.

"If the analysis Arsene Wenger has made is in order to justify not having signed Anthony, I accept he is a winger. But in football, there are those who follow players and those who buy them," he added.

Arsene Wenger defended his own inactivity in the transfer market by claiming Manchester United had overspent in the deal to buy Anthony Martial.

“What happened last night with Monaco, who sold Martial to Manchester United for 80million Euros, I've heard... Martial scored 11 goals in the French championship - that sums it up well," said Wenger.

“Martial is a huge talent - he's 19 years old. The investment is absolutely huge as well. It shows you that there's not many players in the world who can strengthen these teams."

Anthony Martial has impressed in his short Manchester United career so far, scoring twice in United's 3-2 win over Southampton, before adding to his tally in Wednesday's 3-0 Capital One Cup victory over Ipswich.

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