Anthony Martial was “hurt” to lose his number to Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the superstar Swede joined Manchester United this summer, his advisor has confirmed.
Martial was given the No. 9 shirt after moving from Monaco to Manchester in a record £36 million move for a teenager before the start of last season.
The French forward appeared to live up to the price tag, becoming a regular starter and fan favourite for Louis van Gaal’s side over the course of the campaign. But he was forced to give up the number after Ibrahimovic joined the Old Trafford club in June.
“I am not going to lie about it, it hurt him when Manchester United took the No. 9 jersey off him. He was surprised by it and he was disappointed for a few days,” Martial’s advisor Philippe Lamboley said to RMC on Friday.
“But he is a professional. He knew that he had to fight back.
“Personally, I did not accept the decision, which I thought was disrespectful and misplaced. I let the United hierarchy know how I felt. You do not do things like that. We have turned the page, but not forgotten about it.”
Now wearing No. 11, Martial has struggled to find his best form under new boss Jose Mourinho, causing some to wonder if he’s happy with Red Devils.
However Lamboley insists there is no issue between the player and Mourinho.
“It is not true that Anthony has a bad relationship with Mourinho,” Lamboley said.
“They have a professional relationship. I’m sure Mourinho will get the best out of him, just like Louis van Gaal did before him.
“Anthony is happy at United. We are trying to get out of a bad spell, he is no longer smiling all the time. People who know him know that he likes to smile.
“He is very committed to United and his team-mates. He wants just one thing and that is to enjoy a great season with United and win titles. Just let him do his job, let a 20-year-old enjoy himself. What he has already achieved is incredible. And I can promise you that the best is yet to come.”
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