One of the great things about the sport of soccer is that 100 different people often see and analyze a game, a play, or a player, 100 different ways.
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Manchester United striker Anthony Martial is certainly one of them. Fans, media and managers the world over were quick to say the $55 million Man United paid for the 19-year-old Frenchman at the end of the summer transfer window was a ridiculous sum.
Most “wrong” about his client, says Philippe Lamboley, Martial’s agent, is Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. According to Lamboley, Wenger had the chance to sign Martial upon following his progression since he was a teenager. Why didn’t he, then? In Wenger’s mind, Martial was/is a winger, not a striker.
Lamboley, on Wenger’s mistake, from the Mirror:
“Anthony is a true modern centre-forward who can play a part.”
“I am surprised by the analysis of Arsene Wenger, who has apparently been following him since he was a teenager.
“If the analysis Arsene Wenger has made is in order to justify not having signed Anthony, I accept he is a winger.
“But in football, there are those who follow players and those who buy them.”
Martial’s scoring record (four goals in four games across all competitions) would seem to indicate the most-expensive teenage signing of all time is a striker, at least in these early days.
It’s clearly a bit of sour grapes from Lamboley, whose client not only got the kind of major-money move he so desired — and deserved — but is thriving for the club that actually signed him. Take into account how many footballers there are in the world, and how many different managers want to sign them. You can’t possibly sign every single player with whom you come into contact.
Unless you’re Harry Redknapp, of course.