Recent reports from The Sun state that Arsenal are keen on signing Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez in the ongoing transfer window as Mikel Arteta looks set to add to his defensive options ahead of the 2022/23 season.
The Gunners have made an improved third bid of £34 million for the defender after the Eredivisie club turned down their previous offer of £26 million. Although the amount isn’t very far from Ajax’s asking price of £43 million, they are under no pressure to sell, having made profits on the sale of Ryan Gravenberch and Sebastien Haller (possibly).
With Manchester United also keen on securing the defender’s services, a bidding war seems inevitable. Having played a key role in Erik Ten Hag’s title-winning campaign by keeping 22 clean sheets in 37 matches across all competitions, the 24-year-old defender was recently declared Ajax’s player of the season. As a result, the Dutch manager wishes to bring Martinez to the Theatre of Dreams for the massive rebuild job.
Arteta Must Secure His Services
Having come through the academy at Argentine Primera Division club Newell, Lisandro Martinez joined Ajax in the summer of 2019 for a fee in the region of £6.3 million. Over the course of the last four years, he has made 119 appearances for the Amsterdam club, keeping 52 clean sheets across all competitions. The six-times Argentina international managed to put up some awe-inspiring numbers on the board last season as he averaged two tackles, 1.9 interceptions, 2.8 clearances, 0.5 blocks, 1.6 shots, 0.7 key passes, and 5.4 long balls per ninety minutes in the Dutch top-flight (calculated across 24 appearances). Furthermore, with an average WhoScored rating of 7.60, he was one of the best players on his team in the past term. Capable of playing as a left-back or a defensive midfielder in the hour of need, versatility is one of his prime strengths.
At 24, the Argentine has some of the best years ahead of him, so Arteta should try his level best to secure his signature in the coming days.
(Stats from WhoScored)