Home » Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane impress Erik ten Hag

Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane impress Erik ten Hag

by David O'Neill

Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane could end up being Erik ten Hag’s first choice centre-back pair at Manchester United.

Speaking after the preseason match against Rayo Vallecano, the new boss described the two as “a really good combination.”

The Dutchman was impressed with their performance at Old Trafford, with the team looking assured in building up from the back and solid defensively.

“They played really solid. That was good to see.”

Varane has endured a stuttering preseason, failing to make the starting eleven since the first game of the tour against Liverpool.

A knock in that game and subsequent fitness issues made it seem that he may have slipped down to fourth choice at United.

However in handing him the captaincy for the final game before the curtain raiser, Ten Hag appears to have shown his faith in the Frenchman.

New signing Lisandro Martinez offered his manager “no surprise,” with the two having worked together at Ajax.

“Always the question is how do you integrate, and I think he can integrate quite well into the team,” the boss said.

The Argentine looked every bit a Rolls Royce defender, eliciting praise from Tom Heaton in goal.

“You can see already what he brings. He brings that sort of larger-than-life personality at the back, controlling,” Heaton commented.

“As I say, I thought he was excellent today.”

While Harry Maguire remains the club captain, United now have genuine competition for places in defence – a situation that can only be positive in the new campaign.

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