Manchester United star Anthony Martial's agent Philippe Lamboley has criticised Arsene Wenger after the Arsenal manager called the Red Devils forward 'more of a winger than a striker' while admitting that the Gunners have been keeping track of him since he was a kid. The forward's representative asserts that his client is a 'modern day centre-forward' and has attributed the French manager's comments to their failure to sign his client.
The 19-year-old Frenchman joined the Old Trafford club from AS Monaco in the latter stages of the summer transfer window for a fee of around £36m ($54.8m). It was initially feared that the 20-time English champions had taken a huge gamble in signing an unknown player for a massive fee, but the young forward has lived up to expectations and made a blistering start to his United career with four goals in as many games.
Wenger has been linked with a move for the Monaco forward in the past, but he has revealed that he did not sign Martial due to him being more of a winger than a natural centre-forward.
"We [have] known him since he was a kid. But he's more of a winger-type," Wenger is quoted as saying by the Independent. "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," the Gunners boss added.
Hitting back, the French international forward's representative claimed that Martial had proved that he was a natural centre-forward during his time with Lyon's youth team, while insisting that his client only moves to the wings to create more space for himself.
"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 centre forward and having never played as a winger," Lamboley told RMC, as quoted by ESPN FC. "When he gets free and leaves the centre, it's actually to speed up and get away from the central defenders."
"If Arsene Wenger's analysis is made with the aim of justifying not having signed Anthony, then I accept his remarks and he's therefore a winger. But in football, there are those who follow players and those who buy them," the forward's agent added.