Arsene Wenger: Why I was surprised Man United signed Anthony Martial
The Arsenal manager says he expected Anthony Martial to stay at Monaco
Arsene Wenger has admitted that he was surprised Manchester United were able to sign Anthony Martial in the summer transfer window.
The France international became Europe’s most-expensive teenager after the forward moved to the Red Devils in a £36m deal from Ligue 1 side Monaco on transfer deadline day.
Martial has already scored four goals and made one assist in four appearances in all competitions following his debut in a 3-1 win against Liverpool earlier this month.
But former Arsenal manager Wenger, who signed Petr Cech in an £11m deal from Chelsea, didn’t expect Monaco to allow their prized asset to leave the Principality.
“He was more a winger in his whole career and he played the final part of the season last year as striker,” Wenger told his pre-match media conference.
“But 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.
“But in the end both of them moved.”
Arsenal were the only European club in the summer transfer window not to sign an outfield player.
The Gunners are in fourth place in the Premier League table following their 5-2 victory over Leicester City on Saturday.
The north London side are three points behind current leaders United.