Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that French club Monaco's persistence in holding on to Anthony Martial didn't allow him to go ahead in the pursuit of the player.
Martial, who has remained one of the key figures for Manchester United this season, after making his move to the Old Trafford side on the transfer deadline day this summer, was also reportedly an Arsenal target.
However, Wenger, who has been criticised by Martial's agent just days back for the French manager's wrong analysis on his client, did not look very keen on launching a bid for the forward.
"Monaco's statement was always that the two players that would not move were Martial and [Layvin] Kurzawa, so I thought they would maintain that," Wenger was quoted as saying by the Daily Star. "But in the end both of them moved."
Philippe Lamboley, the 19-year-old Frenchman's agent, mentioned that Wenger saw Martial more as a winger, and was doubtful of his abilities to play upfront. Lamboley feels that was a completely wrong assumption.
Manchester United shelled out a whopping £36m -- potentially rising to £58m -- to snap up the player from Monaco this summer, and the forward has gone on to score four times from five games in all competitions for the Red Devils this summer.
Wenger will be getting a close glimpse of Martial this Sunday when Arsenal take on Manchester United in a mouthwatering Premier League game.
Meanwhile, United veteran and former skipper Gary Neville has stated that the performance of Martial has been surprising. "He's made a big difference," Neville was quoted by the Mirror. "He's transformed the front end of the team. When he signed, we knew he was going to be an exciting signing but we didn't think he would settle in so quickly. I was expecting Manchester United to have signed a winger-forward, but what they have actually signed looks like a number nine; someone who can lead the line, and, if he's not scoring goals and not running in behind, provide a point for attacks - and I never expected that."
Neville (40) who won eight Premier League titles with the Red Devils in his almost two-decade long career at Old Trafford, also said that he is completely left shocked about how quickly the youngster settled into life at Manchester United. "In the first three weeks he couldn't have made any greater impact upon me in terms of how he's settled in, the goals he's scored, the threat he's provided, the transformation of the team, but also the fact that he can physically handle himself, push big men out of the way, hold the ball and turn in one movement," Neville said.
"That's the bit that has shocked me and surprised me. It's early days and he's still got a lot to do but I think it's something he should be positive about and United should be positive about," he added.