Reports in France this morning claim that Manchester United star Anthony Martial was not informed that his number 9 jersey was being handed to new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and it’s suggested that the 20-year-old forward is less than happy about the situation.
French media outlet RMC is reporting that Martial was not consulted before it was announced that he would be sporting the number 11 next season, with the number 9 he wore during the last campaign being given to Ibrahimovic.
Manchester United gave Zlatan Ibrahimovic the #9 shirt without informing Anthony Martial that they were taking it away from him !— Mohamed Bouhafsi (@mohamedbouhafsi) July 23, 2016
The report has sparked frenzied speculation over just how upset Martial is about the matter, with it claimed that the player has unfollowed United on social media — although it has not been confirmed whether he was following the club’s official accounts to begin with.
Whether or not Martial is genuinely upset over the number swap is unkown, but it does at least cause an issue with the player’s new ‘AM9’ personal brand. The former Monaco youngster has elected to use pictures of himself wearing the number 9 shirt in prominent positions on his Facebook page in recent days, which has been read into as Martial displaying his discontent.
Online speculation about Paris Saint Germain and Arsenal readying bids for last season’s top scorer, to take advantage of his apparent unhappiness, seem both highly unlikely and entirely ridiculous.
It is a trivial matter, and although Martial may well be a little ticked-off, it’s seriousness has been grossly over-played.
But if it is true that United didn’t consult Martial before giving away his squad number, then this is a situation of the club’s own making, and one that could have been easily avoided by a simple heads-up ahead of time.