- Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has described Jose Mourinho as disrespectful owing to the treatment meted out to him by the Portuguese tactician
- Martial and Mourinho spent two seasons at Man United with their relationship best described as frosty with the latter name-calling the Frenchman for his supposedly lukewarm attitude
- The 26-year-old Frenchman has played just 45 minutes of football this season due to persistent injury problems
Anthony Martial has opened up on his estranged relationship with former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.
Martial took the Premier League by surprise following his breakout year in 2015 but has since struggled to maintain consistency and live up to his immense potential under a raft of managers.
Opening up on how his relationship with the 'Special One' turned sour, Martial referred to losing his jersey number as the beginning of his tough love with Mourinho.
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"It started with the story of the shirt number," Martial told France Football via Manchester Evening News. "During the holidays, he [Mourinho] sent me a message to ask if I want to change to the No.11, explaining to me that it is great because it was worn by Ryan Giggs, a club legend.
"I tell him that I have the greatest respect for Giggs but I prefer to keep the No.9. When I returned to the club, I see my name with the No.11, the story did not end well. He [Mourinho] lacked direct respect for me.
Martial continued: ‘He talked about me in the press, little phrases, a bit like he had done with Karim Benzema at Real Madrid. He likes these little games, but he also knows who he is doing it with.
"He knows that I am then 20 years old, that if I say something, it is I who will pass for the young person who lacks respect.
The 26-year-old forward also blamed Mourinho for missing out on a place in France's 2018 World Cup winning squad.
"So I said nothing, it was useless. The following season, I was the best in the team in the first part of the season, he brought in Alexis Sanchez and there I hardly played anymore. It’s the season of the World Cup and it cost me dearly, especially since the France team won. I should have been there."
Martial jokingly calls out Bruno Fernandes for not providing him with assists in interesting video
United are set to kick off their Premier League campaign against Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday, August 7, and there have been glimpses of possible strong performances from Ten Hag’s side in this campaign.
One man to watch will be Martial, who has somehow played his way back into contention for first-team football under Ten Hag.