Manchester United have succeeded in signing Argentine defender Lisandro Martinez from Dutch club Ajax.
Of course, Martinez’s arrival at Old Trafford comes with the blessing of former Ajax coach Eric den Haag, who knows the Argentine defender’s value and his formidable defensive skills.
Martinez is 1.75cm tall and despite his remarkable shortness for a traditional central defender, he has the ability to make up for it, and his success at Ajax and the quality of players he has seen confirm he is not intimidated. Someone or anything while trying to win the ball.
Martínez is seen as one of the most important defensive linemen in the Eredivisie in terms of ball-playing ability, especially forward passing.
It helped Ajax under Ten Hoag’s leadership to break down defensive blocks in the Eredivisie and help the team successfully control the ball.
But apart from his versatility with the ball and ability to play at left-back or central defender, Martinez can control any striker, be it new Manchester City star Erling Holland or Darwin Nunes. New Liverpool player.
During Ajax’s matches against Borussia Dortmund and Benfica in last season’s Champions League, Martinez was watching the two teams’ strikers Holland and Nunez respectively.
Perfect in anticipation and fast in pressing!
With simple snapshots from last season’s Champions League matches, Martinez has an uncanny ability to predict the trajectory of the ball.
Martínez succeeds in intercepting the ball before it reaches the attackers and this stops any potential attacking plan.
The process of finding big attackers in physicality requires a kind of bravery, predictability, the right movement to cover space and the right tackles, all of which are found in Martinez.
The Argentine defender is willing to sacrifice himself to get the ball, and makes up for his short stature with courage and strength in tackles, to the point of intimidating attackers at times.
Looking at Martinez’s passing numbers for the 2021-22 season in the Eredivisie, the Argentine defender managed to send 1,746 perfect passes in 1963, with an accuracy of 88.9%.
What distinguishes Martínez’s passes is that 33.3% of them went forward, 6.8% went back, while 85.5% of Martínez’s passes came in the opponent’s half.
Is Martinez the solution to the United defense?
Lisandro Martinez, and his ability to play as a left back and central defender, can solve many of the problems Manchester United faced last season in particular.
Eric den Haag could play with three defenders next season with Harry Maguire, Rafael Varane and Martinez, in which the “Red Devils” captain shined the most.
Maguire in particular has been the target of derision from many of Manchester United’s rivals.
Also, Martinez’s clever anticipation of the ball’s path, successful interception and smooth clearance could give Manchester United the solution to end the misery of gradient ball possession from the back, which was evident with Maguire.
Target / cartridge
The Argentine defender could be the man Manchester United need to improve defensively after suffering an unprecedented stint last season.