Anthony Martial claims Jose Mourinho ‘disrespected’ him by forcing him to vary shirt number at Manchester United back in 2016. The France international wore the No 9 during his maiden yr in England after arriving from Monaco. Nonetheless, he was forced to take the No 11 with Zlatan Ibrahimovic getting the striker’s preferred jersey as an alternative.
Manchester United signed Martial from Monaco back in the summertime transfer window of 2015, when Louis van Gaal ruled the roost.
He proceeded to shine at Old Trafford, netting 17 goals across all competitions – even outscoring Wayne Rooney in the method.
Nonetheless, when Mourinho took charge, Martial’s form suffered. One factor behind that was because he was unhappy with the No 9 shirt being given to Ibrahimovic, who arrived from Paris Saint-Germain that summer.
And now, chatting with France Football, the 26-year-old has slammed Mourinho for his actions.
“It began with the story of the number,” he said.
“Through the holidays, he sends me a message to ask me if I need to take 11, explaining to me that it’s great, since it’s legend Ryan Giggs.
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“I tell him that I even have the best respect for Giggs, but that I prefer to maintain my number nine.
“Once I return to the club, I see my jersey with the number 11, the story didn’t start well [laughs ]. He disrespected me, straight up.”
Martial then proceeded to accuse Mourinho of mind games, while condemning the club’s decision to land Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal.
“He [Mourinho] was talking about me within the press,” continued the forward.
“He likes these games, but he also knows who he’s doing it with.
“He knows that I’m 20 years old then and that if I say something, it’s I who will pass for the young one that lacks respect.
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“The second season [2017/18], I used to be the team’s top scorer in the primary a part of the season, he [Mourinho] brought in Alexis Sanchez and I hardly played any more.
“Mondial, it costs me dearly. I must have been there…”
Mourinho isn’t the one former United boss who Martial seems to have a problem with.
The Frenchman has also criticised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to make him play for the club last term, despite being injured.
“The last two seasons, I even have commonly played injured,” he stated.
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“People do not know that, I could not speed up through the 4 months following the Covid season. Coach Solskjaer tells me that he needs me, so I play.
“Given my game, if I am unable to speed up, it becomes very complicated. And I get set on fire… The coach never bothered to inform the media.
“Obviously, I find yourself getting injured to good and after I come back, finished, I do not play anymore.
“I took it very badly. I had a sense of injustice.
“You’re asked to sacrifice yourself for the team and behind you’re dismissed. For me, it’s almost treachery, that is all I hate. I may be blamed, but not for being fake.”
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Some consider Martial was too young to hitch United, with the forward aged 19 on the time.
But he refutes that theory and insists he’s proven he’s got the talent and capability to play at the very best level.
“Left too early for #MUFC? I do not think so,” he said.
“Otherwise, I might have tousled after I arrived. Nonetheless, I’m having a superb first season, I’m scoring 17 goals and delivering 13 assists.
“Should you’re not ready, you are not doing this, right?”