'Thierry Henry likens himself to Anthony Martial'

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Anthony Martial of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on January 1, 2018 in Liverpool, England
Photo: Jan Kruger/GETTY IMAGES

Lee Dixon has recalled the time he had a conversation with Thierry Henry in which the Arsenal legend compared himself to Manchester United striker Anthony Martial.

Martial, who joined United in a £36 million deal from AS Monaco in 2015, has often been compared to Henry, Arsenal's record goalscorer and one of the greatest imports of the Premier League era.

Both had become prominent at Monaco, had begun their career on the left wing but were viewed as strikers and were blessed with searing pace.

However, Henry is adamant United's current dressing room lacks the battle-hardened and imposing characters who would be able to guide Martial through in the same way.

Speaking on Arsenal podcast Handbrake Off, former Arsenal star Dixon said:

I talked about that with him [Henry] recently. We did some work together with Amazon Prime when they had the two games around Christmas time. I presumed he knew Martial because they're from the same area in France so I asked him about Martial.

I said, "What he's like?" and he looked at me with that look that he does as if to say: "Have I not already spoken to you about this?"

And 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.

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 would have been similar if he had been in the old United dressing room with the characters like what we had in our dressing room. He certainly talks about that as a real learning lesson in his curve to get how brilliant he was.

Like Martial, Henry had an inconsistent start to life in the Premier League but he was soon ripping up defences up and down the country after some tough love from an experienced Arsenal squad which included the likes of Dixon, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Nigel Winterburn and David Seaman.

When he first came, he's not training very hard, being a bit sulky... that wasn't allowed. You're not allowed to come into our workplace and be like that.

It wasn't a case of allowing him a certain amount of leeway here and there. It was: this is how it’s done, this is The Arsenal, this is how we dress, this is how we train and this is what we behave like. If you're in, you're in and you'll be one of mates. if you're not, you're not.

I think that was a big thing for him.

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