Arsene Wenger has revealed that Arsenal have been aware of and following Anthony Martial “since he was a kid” but they viewed him as a winger.
The Independent quoted Wenger on the subject of Martial ahead of Arsenal’s match against Leicester City.
“But he’s more a of a winger type. He’s an exceptional talent I agree with you but I believe that he plays in positions where we have players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis Sanchez and Joel Campbell who can play in the position.”
According to the Guardian, Monaco had made it clear to Arsenal that Martial and now PSG left back Layvin Kurzawa were unavailable regardless of the price.
“Monaco’s statement was always that two players – Martial and Layvin Kurzawa – would not move.
“I thought they would maintain that but in the end both of them moved.”
This explains why Wenger did not chase Martial in the transfer window, although the biggest deterrent must have been the player’s price tag when you consider that Manchester United paid a fee that could hit up to £58 Million if certain conditions are met.
Martial’s agent Phillippe Lamboley seemed surprised when told of Wenger’s comments by RMC. Lamboley argued the Martial is a modern forward who is capable of playing on the wing. Lamboley offered stats that disprove Wenger’s statement.
“I don’t agree with him because Anthony scored between 25 and 30 goals a season at Lyon’s youth academy while playing as a center forward and having never played as a winger.”
So far Martial has hit the ground running. His four goals this season bodes well for Manchester United, and Wenger may rue his inability to bring the player to Arsenal at a younger age.