Anthony Martial was “hurt” by Manchester United handing Zlatan Ibrahimovic his number-nine jersey, the striker’s agent has confirmed.
Martial was handed the coveted shirt number upon his arrival from Monaco in 2015, but had to settle for No.11 instead when Ibrahimovic joined from Paris Saint-Germain.
“I am not going to lie about it, it hurt him when Manchester United took the number nine jersey off him. He was surprised by it and he was disappointed for a few days,” Martial’s advisor Philippe Lamboley told RMC.
“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.”
Martial has struggled to find his best form this term, leading to speculation he is unhappy under new manager Jose Mourinho.
Nevertheless, Lamboley is adamant his client is happy at Old Trafford.
“It is not true that Anthony has a bad relationship with Mourinho,” he added.
“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.”