The player’s agent has revealed in an exclusive interview that the shirt number fiasco in the summer left the Manchester United forward deeply disgruntled
After a hugely successful first year in Manchester, 20-year-old Anthony Martial is enduring a rather uneven second season, with various issues relating to his form as well as personal life cropping up.
The young Frenchman was handed the number nine shirt upon being signed by the English giants for a reported fees of £36 million from Monaco in September 2015.
The decision to hand the iconic number nine shirt to Martial, having been previously adorned by the likes of Bobby Charlton and Andy Cole among others, raised a few eyebrows considering the player was not well known at the time.
But the forward took no time to prove his worth, scoring with a fine goal against arch-rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on his debut. Martial ended-up being the club’s top-scorer in the Premier League and in all competitions with 11 and 17 goals respectively last season.
However, in the summer of 2016, Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined Manchester United on a free transfer and it was announced the big Swede will be taking the number nine shirt. This meant Anthony Martial had to change from number nine to number eleven, a move which, as per Martial’s agent, infuriated the player till no end.
Speaking to RMC Sport (h/t Sky Sports), agent Philippe Lamboley was heard expressing the player’s disappointment on the shirt number change in the summer, stating, “I’m not going to lie to you. Yes, it (the decision) got to him. Yes, it surprised him. He was disappointed for almost two days.” Lamboley continued, “Personally, I find that decision out of order and disrespectful to my player. I told Manchester United’s board that. You just don’t do it.”
The agent was also quick to add Martial look the situation in his stride and accepted the decision.
“Anthony is a complete professional. He knew how to get back into things straightaway.”
To add to the disappointment of the number change, the 20-year-old also lost his place under new manager Jose Mourinho and is undergoing a messy separation with his wife, which seems to have affected Anthony’s on field performances.
However, the agent insisted his personal life has no bearings professionally while also quashing the reports of poor relation between Jose Mourinho and Anthony Martial, claiming his client is happy at the club and very attached to the supporters.