Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has described centre-back Lisandro Martinez as ‘sublime’ in the way that he defends and is keen to continue working with the Argentine for a ‘long time’.
Ten Hag has already managed Martinez for nearly four years, having been in charge at Ajax when the Dutch giants paid €7m to Argentine club Defensa y Justicia in the summer of 2019.
Martinez quickly became a regular for Ajax, playing extensively in the Champions League during his time in Amsterdam, and was sold on to United in a deal worth up to £57m just two months after Ten Hag swapped the Eredivisie for the Premier League.
Questions were asked about how suitable he would be for the Premier League – and briefly appeared to be justified amid a difficult start – but Martinez has since gone on to establish himself as one of the best defenders currently playing in England.
Nicknamed ‘The Butcher’ for an aggressive style of play, what he lacks in physical stature, he more than makes up for in passion and his reading of the game.
“I see ‘The Butcher’ in a positive way, not in a negative way,” Ten Hag told club media.
“His playing [style is] tough but not unfair. I think he is, especially, he is a defender, and he is defending in a good way – on the ball because it is [about] positioning, anticipation and cooperation.
“It is sublime. It’s extraordinary to work with him and because he has that capacity, and he wants to improve day by day. So, it’s nice to see his defending style. His attitude – everyone loves it, the fans love it, the defence loves it, and it gives spirit to the team.
“[When he is] on the ball, he can deal with it. I like him as a player. I like the attitude [that he has], and I hope that we can co-operate for a long time together.”
On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders and Rob Blanchette discuss Manchester United’s shock 7-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield, who the club’s next captain should be & more. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!