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Man Utd accused of disrespecting Anthony Martial over No 9 shirt

Anthony Martial cuts a dejected figure as Chelsea celebrate their fourth goal
Image: Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has struggled for form under Jose Mourinho

Anthony Martial's agent has accused Manchester United of disrespecting the France striker, by handing the No 9 shirt to summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Martial was given the No 9 shirt following his £36m move from Monaco in September 2015, but was forced to change to No 11 in the summer after the arrival of Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford.

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The 20-year-old, who scored 17 times during his debut campaign in England, has struggled for form under Jose Mourinho this season and his agent, Philippe Lamboley, admits the shirt change has affected his client. 

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates with Anthony Martial
Image: Martial enjoyed a successful 2015/16 season as United's No 9

"I'm not going to lie to you. Yes, it got to him. Yes, it surprised him. Yes, he was disappointed… for two days," Lamboley told RMC Sport.

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"But he's professional. He knew how to get back into things straightaway. Personally, I find that decision out of order and disrespectful to my player. I told Manchester United's board that. You just don't do it.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United shoots at goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Burnley
Image: Zlatan Ibrahimovic was handed the No 9 shirt following his free transfer to United

"So we accepted it, we turned the page, but we didn't rip it up."

Martial has scored just two goals in 12 appearances this season, but Lamboley rejected any suggestion of a rift between Martial and Mourinho, insisting his client is happy at United.  

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Jose backs misfiring Zlatan
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Jose Mourinho has backed Zlatan Ibrahimovic following his recent struggles in front of goal.

"They have a very professional relationship. I am sure that Jose Mourinho will know how to bring the best out of Anthony like Louis van Gaal did before him," he added.

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"He is very happy at United. He is not smiling all the time but that's part of his personality. People who know him well know that he is a smiling, open and warm guy. He is very attached to the fans who have welcomed him so nicely.

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"He has only one ambition: to have a great season and win titles with United. What he has accomplished already is amazing, he is only starting his career. And I promise you the best is to come."

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