Lisandro Martinez has been one of Manchester United’s outstanding players this season and Erik ten Hag’s decision to bring the Argentine with him to Old Trafford is proving to be one of many genius moves performed by the United boss.
Martinez almost immediately grew into a fan-favourite at Old Trafford and now, with just three months remaining of the season, he is comfortably in the running to be the signing of the season.
His Old Trafford career did, however, get off to a rocky start as he was targetted by pundits after United lost their first two games of the season.
Jamie Carragher, the former Liverpool defender, was particularly critical of Martinez due to the former Ajax star’s height, claiming he was convinced Martinez could not play in the Premier League.
Now, just days after masterfully deleting Robert Lewandowski from the game in United’s 2-1 win over Barcelona, Martinez has finally addressed the critics over his height.
“To be honest, I put my full focus here,” Martinez told the Telegraph when asked about the assertions. “I can’t control that [what people say], you know, it’s just an opinion.
“I understand when people say that – they show me who they are, you know? It’s not my problem. I’m really happy, the people are happy with me as well. That’s the most important thing.
“In the beginning, in Argentina, it was the same. But it’s normal because, in football, it’s not normal to play as a centre-back with my height.
“It’s not easy as well, you know – you have to work very hard. You have to be very clever on the pitch, you have to be sharp in every situation but if you’re smart you can win the duels.
Since that uncomfortable introduction to life in the Premier League, Martinez has formed a seemingly unbreakable bond with Raphael Varane.
Both players are World Cup winners and with them at the heart of their defence, United have looked more solid than they have in many years.