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Lisandro Martinez and Manchester United’s former Argentinians

New signing to become eighth Argentine to wear the red shirt

by Paul Speller

As Manchester United finally look to have secured the signing of Lisandro Martinez, he will become the eighth Argentine to play for the club, all in the Premier League era.

New signing Martinez, who joins Erik ten Hag’s revolution for a reported €67m (£57m), is one of a select group of players from his country to have worn the red of United.

Nearly all of Lisandro’s predecessors experienced a tough time at Old Trafford, whether that be adapting to the style of play in the English league, or simply not being cut out for the high expectations at the 13 times Premier League champions.

And as Martinez joins his fellow countryman and upcoming superstar, Alejandro Garnacho within the Reds’ ranks, United fans will be pinning high hopes on the pair.

Martinez, who joins from Dutch side Ajax, started his career with Argentine giants Newells Old Boys, but has played in the Eredevisie for the past 3 seasons, and impressive performances have seen him called up to the national side.

Former Argentine international Juan Sebastian Veron became the first player from the South American country to play for the Reds when Sir Alex Ferguson secured his signature from Lazio in 2001 for a then English record fee of £28.1m.

But after spending just two seasons at Old Trafford, Veron was sold to rivals Chelsea and went on to play in Italy once more before retiring to his native Argentina in 2014.

In 2004 another Newell’s Old Boy’s graduate in Gabriel Heinze was signed from French side Paris St Germain, scoring on his debut v Bolton Wanderers.

Heinze’s no nonsense style of defending quickly made him a firm favourite with fans at Old Trafford.

But after a spell out of the side due to injury, and his attempt at orchestrating a move to Liverpool, Heinze was sold to Real Madrid and consigned to United history.

Carlos Tevez became the next Argentinian hopeful of lighting up the Theatre of Dreams, signing for United in 2007 after an impressive season with West Ham United.

But after just two seasons he moved across the city to play for the blue side of Manchester, before playing in Italy, China and retiring with his first club side, Boca Juniors.

2014 saw United sign a pair of Argentinians, breaking the English record once again by signing Angel di Maria from Real Madrid in a deal worth £59.1m and bringing in defensive hard-man Marcos Rojo from Sporting in Portugal.

While Di Maria stayed for just one season before departing for France and PSG, Rojo enjoyed 7 years at United, playing his part in the club winning 4 major trophies in this time.

A year later The Reds brought in Sergio Romero, the already hugely experienced goalkeeper was signed from Serie A side Sampdoria and became a popular back up keeper, spending 7 seasons as a hugely reliable understudy.

Garnacho, who joined United from Atlético Madrid at 16 years of age, has already showed his immense talent and potential.

Scoring twice in the FA Youth Cup Final win last season, making his full debut v Chelsea in the Premier League and being called up to the Argentina squad after impressive displays for the under 20s, the 18 year old looks to be a future world star.

And as The Reds embark on a new era under Ten Hag, United’s new Argentinian contingent may well have a huge say in their future successes.

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