Home » The stats behind Lisandro Martinez’s quieting of critics at Manchester United

The stats behind Lisandro Martinez’s quieting of critics at Manchester United

by David O'Neill

Lisandro Martinez has been a revelation since signing for Manchester United and has contributed enormously to a vastly improved defensive unit this season.

Forging a convincing partnership with Raphael Varane, the Argentine has combined composure on the ball with combative determination off it, fast becoming a fan favourite in the process.

Never has there been a Premier League footballer around whom there has been so much discussion over height, but Martinez has set about quieting his naysayers with much aplomb.

Those familiar with the defender’s time at Ajax would have been quick to point out that Martinez has always put up fantastic aerial numbers, not just for a player standing at 5’9”, but for any central defender.

However his 66.2% aerial duel success rate last season did nothing to dissuade the likes of Jamie Carragher from declaring that he couldn’t play centre back in the Premier League.

As physically demanding as England’s top flight is, Martinez has not faltered.

His aerial duel success rate so far this season? 70%.

Martinez has not just adapted to the Premier League, he has improved with it, embracing the challenge, and showcasing the ‘grinta’ Erik ten Hag credited him with upon bringing the defender to Old Trafford.

While it is early days for Martinez, the signs are looking good.

Naturally, playing under his former manager has been a boost for the £55m man, and he has benefitted from the familiarity.

Speaking to United’s in-house media (via The Mirror), he said: “I know [Ten Hag] very well, I know what he wants, his mentality, his style. I played with him for three years at Ajax and now it’s good to be with him at this amazing club. We keep working hard and now we are ready for the big games.”

The big games will be coming think and fast after the international break, with perhaps the biggest yet taking place on October 2nd, as Manchester United make the short trip to the Etihad to take on Manchester City.

While he has played – quite successfully – against Erling Haaland before, Martinez stands to silence a few more Carraghers with a good performance here.

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