Lisandro Martinez has been one of Manchester United’s standout players this season.
The Argentine centre back cemented his place in the first team immediately and has never looked back.
Martinez has added much-needed ‘steel’ to United’s backline.
His partnership will Raphael Varane has been game-changing for United. Erik ten Hag’s side have improved defensively, and Martinez’s performances have been critical.
The 5’7 centre back was ridiculed by certain pundits on his arrival in England due to his height.
In August 2022, Jamie Carraher famously said: “Now, we should never judge managers or players too early. But I’m convinced this can’t work because the size of him playing in a back four.”
“Maybe he could go left-back, maybe he could play in a back three, but in a back four, he cannot play there in the Premier League.”
“What I would say about him, because of his size, is that it is a problem for him. No matter what anyone says, being 5ft 9in is a problem.”
🗣️ "I'm convinced this can't work!"
Jamie Carragher is convinced Lisandro Martínez can't play in a back four at Manchester United. pic.twitter.com/k3RmPhYQas
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 15, 2022
It is safe to say that Martinez has proved his doubters wrong.
Adrian Clarke’s brilliant analysis shows how the 25 year old has been a key figure in United’s defence.
He excels at playing out from the back and ranks number one (34.9%) among United defenders for forward passes.
“His distribution helps United’s front men get on to the ball a fraction quicker, which in turn allows them extra space.”
Moreover, Martinez has made the most blocks (21) of any defender in the top eight teams of the Premier League table.
His aggressive style of defending will make it difficult for Liverpool’s attack in their upcoming clash at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have not been at the race this season, so it is an excellent opportunity for United to come away with three points.
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