The 24-year-old’s talent is undeniable, but his fellow countryman feels better leadership behind the scenes would have seen him reach new heights
Thierry Henry believes Anthony Martial is “exactly” like he was when he arrived in the Premier League, according to the France icon’s former Arsenal team-mate Lee Dixon, and feels that the forward’s development has been stalled by Manchester United‘s lack of strong characters.
Martial arrived at Old Trafford with a bang back in 2015, bursting on to the scene as a youngster with no shortage of skills and a keen eye for goal.
He has struggled for consistency at times during his five years with the Red Devils, however, with various managerial changes and alterations to playing positions no doubt playing a part in the France international’s stymied development.
For Henry, however, it is more down to having little inspiration at the Theatre of Dreams, with the former striker explaining to his old Gunners colleague Dixon that the big personalities in Arsenal’s dressing room were pivotal in his rise to becoming one of football’s all-time greats.
“I talked about [Martial] with [Henry] recently,” Dixon said on the Handbrake Off podcast. “We did some work together when [Man Utd] had the two games around Christmas time.
“I presumed he knew him because they’re from the same area in France so I asked him about Martial.
“He said, ‘He’s exactly like I was when I came to Arsenal. He needs to go through the process like I did with you lot and I don’t know if the Manchester United dressing room is like that’. He said that was the making of him.
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“To liken himself to Martial or another player to him, it really painted a picture of what Martial was like and what his character was like because he’s super talented like Thierry was and I think his development would have been similar.
“I’m not saying he would have been as good as Thierry, but he would have been similar if he had been in the old United dressing room with the characters like we had in our dressing room.
“He certainly talks about that as a real learning lesson in his curve to get to how brilliant he was.”