Monday, March 20, 2023

Manchester United Revive Interest In This Argentine Centre-Back: Why They Must Step Up The Chase

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Manchester United enjoyed a stellar start under Erik Ten Hag by defeating Liverpool 4-0 in Tuesday’s pre-season friendly. They have already roped in Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord, whereas the talks are in progress for an array of other high-profile targets. According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, there has been recent development on the Red Devils’ chase for Lisandro Martínez.

The Ajax centre-half is keen on a reunion with his former boss who left the Dutch giants for the Red half of Manchester. Ten Hag is keen on a revamp in terms of attitude, quality as well as style of play, and therefore, needs players who fit his philosophy to accelerate the transition after years of nightmares at the Theatre of Dreams.

Manchester United target Lisandro Martinez
Ajax’s Argentine defender Lisandro Martinez (C) runs with the ball during the Dutch Eredivisie football match between Willem II and Ajax at the Koning Willem II stadium in Tilburg, southern Netherlands, on February 19, 2022. – Netherlands OUT (Photo by MAURICE VAN STEEN / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by MAURICE VAN STEEN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images) The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images ( Imago Images (

The 24-year-old Argentina international had his youth stints with Club Urquiza, Club Libertad and the renowned Newell’s Old Boys. But he made only one senior appearance for the latter prior to securing a transfer to Defensa y Justicia following an impressive season-long loan. There he was scouted extensively by the Eredivisie hotshots who tied him down in the summer of 2019.

Why Manchester United Must Get This Deal Done

Martinez flourished spectacularly under the tutelage of Ten Hag. Soon he started receiving international call-ups and was also a part of their 2021 Copa America winning squad. Despite not being the tallest of centre-backs, the Ajax star has many attributes that the managers demand in a modern-day defender.

His spot jump allows him to compete aerially with big ‘number 9s’. Moreover, the ability to play the ball out from the back with passing expertise and composure should help him slot in the defensive third ahead of Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof. Martinez has exhibited his versatility by featuring as a left fullback and defensive midfielder, but his aggression and combative traits would indeed boost the Devils, given their lethargy and lack of intent in the recent past.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have also been in the race for the Argentine. Although Ajax are playing hardball with a staggering £52m asking fee, Manchester United must step up the chase to avoid a setback against their fellow ‘top four’ rivals.

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