Jamie Carragher has finally admitted that he made a mistake regarding Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez.
The former Liverpool defender had written off United’s summer signing after just two matches, saying he was too small to be a centre back in the Premier League.
He suggested that Erik ten Hag ought to try Martinez at left back or in midfield instead, lest he be bullied by the big scary English strikers.
Unfortunately many at the time shared that view, pointing out that very few top-class centre halves have been 5’9”, particularly in England.
But speaking on Gary Neville’s podcast The Overlap, Carragher has rowed back on those notions.
“I think he’s been brilliant,” he said. “To be that small and play centre-back, you’ve obviously got to be a special player and a good player.
“I didn’t think someone at that size could cope in the Premier League and he has coped. He’s been brilliant. What I said before about United’s spirit, he’s been a big part of that.
“There was a game I saw a few weeks ago, he was sub and someone scored a late goal, and he was right involved. You saw him in the World Cup, Argentinian, he’s got that fight.
“Him and Casemiro coming in, it feels more powerful. I think he could still get exposed in the air at some stage, but every player has weaknesses, the best players make sure they don’t get exposed or hide them. I think he’s a really good player.
“He’s surprised me. I’ve got no problem; I can admit when I’m wrong!”
Carragher will not be the only person to have rowed back on their initial assessment of the Argentinian, with Lisandro Martinez having put in a string over excellent displays in a United shirt.
He has forged an excellent pairing with Raphael Varane and, when screened by the imperious Casemiro, United have had among the best defences in European football, keeping fifteen clean sheets.
Manchester United will be hoping that, in the Brazilian’s absence, Martinez and Varane can keep another clean sheet against Leeds on Sunday, having wavered in the Red Devils’ last two matches by conceding against the Whites on Wednesday and against Crystal Palace in the match prior.
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