Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has praised the attitude and fighting spirit of new summer signing Lisandro Martinez.
The Red Devils revealed yesterday that a transfer had been agreed with Ajax for Martinez, subject to a medical, personal terms and a work permit.
The Argentine should be unveiled in the club’s shirt over the coming days, but before that, Ten Hag has revealed what fans can expect from Martinez.
Speaking to Manutd.com, the Dutch tactician said that the 24-year-old is a ‘warrior’ and believes the club’s supporters will admire him.
He added that the centre-back has the aggressiveness in his game play as well as quality on the ball which would suit the Premier League.
Ten Hag said: “He’s a warrior and I think the fans will admire him. He has an attitude, fighting spirit.”
“He brings aggressiveness in the game, in a good way. I think we need that.
“But also, he’s also skilful and he can deal with the ball and he’s left-footed.
“I think it’s important, yeah. I think the Premier League is high intensity, lots of challenges. We need such players.
“Certain ideas, he knows them. That is an advantage, clearly.
“But also he has to adapt, to a new country, a new club, new team-mates. So also a lot of things will be different.”
Martinez should improve United’s defensive resolve
United had a dismal defensive record in the Premier League last season, conceding a staggering 57 goals from 38 games. Burnley, who were relegated in 18th, gave away five goals less.
Hence, the club have had to reinforce their central defence. The hierarchy had initially earmarked Pau Torres as their target, but Ten Hag made it clear that he wanted to reunite with Martinez.
Martinez is well versed to Ten Hag’s style of play, having worked under him for the last three seasons at Ajax. This should be a clear advantage. He may not need much time to adapt ahead of next season.
The 24-year-old should bring an improvement in the club’s defensive displays as he does not possess any weaknesses. He registered two tackles, 1.9 interceptions and 2.8 clearances per game last term.
He is not an imposing centre-back with a height of 175cm, but still has an incredible leap. The Argentine won over three aerial duels per game last season while completing nearly 89 per cent of his passes.
Hence, he is a perfect all-rounder defender. Martinez is a centre-back by trade and should regularly feature in the left-sided role (being left-footed) which has been occupied by club captain Harry Maguire.
This does not mean that Maguire will be dropped to the bench for good. We could see plenty of rotation next term with the congested schedule due to the World Cup. Martinez could occasionally play in holding midfield.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and WhoScored.com