Martial accuses Mourinho of ‘lack of respect’ after Man Utd shirt number row

Anthony Martial has accused Jose Mourinho of showing a "lack of direct respect" during a row over his Manchester United shirt number.

The French forward played 106 times under Mourinho for the Red Devils prior to his sacking in 2018, scoring 27 goals and providing a further 18 assists. However, their relationship soured after Martial was stripped of the number nine shirt following the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic shortly after Mourinho's appointment in the summer of 2016.

Mourinho also regularly criticised Martial in the press during his three years as manager at Old Trafford after forcing the Frenchman to switch to the number 11 shirt.

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Martial has now reflected on their relationship and the treatment Mourinho subjected him to, telling France Football via Metro: "It started with the story of the shirt number.

"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.

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"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 reclaimed the number nine shirt prior to the start of the 2019/20 season, the first opportunity he had to get the number back after Mourinho's sacking.

However, he still remains angered by how his former manager spoke about him in the media, adding: "He (Mourinho) 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.

"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."

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