Manchester United made Anthony Martial the most expensive teenager in football when they signed him for £36m (via the Daily Star) this past summer, but Arsene Wenger claims Arsenal were monitoring the youngster as well, the Star reports.
Martial completed his move to Old Trafford ahead of deadline day, with United surprising many with the fee they paid for the Frenchman.
Wenger has been criticised for his inactivity in the transfer market, but insists that missing out on Martial was a conscious decision rather than being beaten to the punch.
“We [have] known him since he was a kid,” he said.
“But he’s more 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.”
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The comments are a little strange from the manager, especially given his track record with converting players. Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry are two of the best examples of wingers that Wenger turned into strikers, and Martial seems more than capable of doing the same – even if £36m does seem like an astronomical fee.
We could also do with another winger, especially if Theo Walcott is going to be used as a striker this season. Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are our only real wide players, with Joel Campbell yet to prove he can make the step up.
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Martial isn’t necessarily the player we should have been targeting this past summer, but Wenger’s reasons for not pursuing the 19-year-old don’t seem to hold much weight.