After last season’s horror show, Erik ten Hag had decided that fixing the leaky defence was one of his first priorities as new Manchester United boss.
He promptly signed a new left-back in Tyrell Malacia and after some haggling with former club Ajax, he persuaded Lisandro Martinez to come and join him at Old Trafford.
Many pundits like Jamie Carragher were quick to point out the Argentine’s height of 5’9″ and how he would struggle to defend in the Premier League against physically powerful strikers.
Martinez’s tough start
And the start of his United career could hardly have gone worse as United suffered two back-to-back defeats while in the Brentford hammering, he was subbed off at half-time.
Ten Hag was adamant that he believed the 24-year-old could cope in the English game and since bringing Raphael Varane alongside him, the Argentina international’s game has gone from strength to strength.
In the five games that he has started since, United have kept three clean sheets, while conceding only twice. His no-nonsense style of defending has already earned him comparisons with United legend Nemanja Vidic.
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Apart from his defensive awareness, his range of passing has earned him rave reviews from all around with fans already in love with ‘The Butcher’.
Pundits have since retracted their statements and for Martinez, this is just the start. His camaraderie with his teammates have been on full display along with his leadership qualities.
His performances have now earned him plaudits from Tottenham Hotspur defender Cristian Romero.
The Butcher earning plaudits
The Argentine star knows the his compatriot well from their national team days and feels the United defender is one of the best in the business at the moment.
He earmarked Martinez along with Liverpool star Virgil Van Dijk as the best defenders in the league.
“Today, the best defender for me is Virgil van Dijk, always, and Lisandro Martinez from Manchester United. For me, they are the best in the Premier League,” he was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
Quite a high praise for someone who was seen as the weak link in the United back-line not too long ago.
Fans will be praying that he returns to United without picking up any injuries while on national duty.
With the Manchester Derby up next, United will need both Martinez and Varane to be firing on all cylinders in order to keep the in-form Erling Haaland quiet.