Manchester United have agreed a deal for Ajax superstar Lisandro Martínez and fans are excited about the prospect of his arrival. For those who are unaware of the type of player that he is, let us have a little deep dive into the Argentine’s background.
One of a footballer’s greatest attributes is availability and Martínez delivers minutes. He is a dependable player that has gained his manager’s trust.
Secondary to this immense trait is the versatility that the player supplies. He was signed as a long-term replacement for Matthijs de Ligt and has been deployed in a central defensive position by large. The Argentine is dependable as a left back and equally dependable in a central defensive midfielder position – he is, in fact, particularly good in central midfield.
Martínez played a pivotal role in Ajax’s title winning season and was named as the club’s player of the year. Despite being 5ft 9, he has developed a reputation as being dominant in the air. Last season at Ajax, he led the charts in headed clearances (29) and won 79 of his 112 aerial duels.
He is a confident distributor of the football. Last season, he was ranked in the top one percentage of defenders for successful passes, progressive passes, assists and passes into the final third.
His passing accuracy over the last three seasons is just over 88%. His ball retention is renowned amongst the best within ten Hag’s system.
There is curiosity as to where he will fit into United’s side, and many are unsure if he will fit in the six. Following Frenkie de Jong’s move from Ajax to Barcelona, ten Hag required a player to fill his void. Martínez happily obliged and received plaudits from many, particularly the manager.
“At the beginning of the season we were looking for a brain for central midfield,” Ten Hag said at the time.
“We knew he had played in central midfield, but could he do it in Ajax’s system? We tried him there and we saw good things.”
In Lisandro Martínez, United are gaining a player that has a multitude of footballing ability. His versatility will be key to a side that is crying out for structure. His familiarity with the manager will aid the dressing room and his desire to play for the club isa breath of fresh air.
To finish, consider the words of the manager who has developed his skillset in European football: “He’s a warrior,” Ten Hag said while speaking to MUTV.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 18, 2022
“The fans will admire him.
“He has an attitude, fighting spirit and aggressiveness in the game, in a good way.
“I think we need that, and he is also skilful.
“He can deal with the ball, and he is left footed.”