Arsenal snubbed chance to sign Martial, says agent

Anthony Martial’s agent claims Arsenal could have signed Anthony Martial, but Arsene Wenger declined the chance as he saw him more of a winger.

Manchester United made football headlines all around the globe when they paid an initial £36million for the relatively unknown teenager ahead of the summer transfer deadline, a fee which looked extraordinary for a player of such little experience. Indeed, the fee could earn Monaco as much as £56million depending on how the forward progresses in England.

And the early signs are hugely promising for all concerned. First of all Martial scored on his debut when he came off the bench to seal a 3-1 win against bitter rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford, and although he drew a UEFA Champions League blank at PSV Eindhoven, he has since scored twice in a 3-2 win at Southampton and once against Ipswich Town in a 3-0 League Cup win.

It is already looking as though head coach Louis van Gaal has made a shrewd addition to his squad, especially as Martial could feasibly spend a decade leading the line for the Reds given his tender age. It could all have been so different, though, as the striker’s agent has revealed Wenger had been scouting him for years but the Gunners boss declined the chance to sign him.

It is understood that Wenger rejected the chance to take Martial as he considers him to be more of a winger, rather than a central striker. What makes this more surprising is that arguably Arsenal’s greatest ever player, Thierry Henry, was also considered more of a wideman before the Emirates Stadium coach transformed him into one of the world’s greatest marksmen.

“Anthony Martial is a true modern centre-forward,” said agent Philippe Lamboley. “I am surprised by the analysis of Arsene Wenger, who has apparently been following him since he was a teenager. If the analysis he has made is in order to justify not having signed Anthony, then I accept he is a winger. But in football there are those who follow players and those who buy them.”

Martial will hope to get another chance to add to his impressive tally when Dick Advocaat’s rock-bottom Sunderland visit the red half of Manchester on Saturday afternoon. The 19-year-old could then become the first United player in 43 years to score in their first three league matches, and the first player to do this for the club since the inception of the Premier League back in 1992.

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