Former Manchester United fullback Daley Blind has hailed Lisandro Martinez and backed him to do well at Old Trafford.
Martinez joined the Red Devils from Ajax for around £47 million last summer. There were questions raised by some fans and pundits about his height (5ft 9in) given that he is a central defender. However, the Argentine did well, helping United keep eight clean sheets in 27 league appearances last season.
Martinez has again faced criticism this season after a poor run of form to start the campaign. Blind, however, believes the Argentine has all the attributes to come good for Manchester United. The Girona defender, who played played 141 times for United between 2014 and 2018, told The Athletic:
“Lisandro Martinez, he has this intelligence but also an aggression — he’s strong. People like to talk about his height when something goes wrong but he is so good on and off the ball that his height is not an issue.”
“Martínez is a great player. He’s clever enough to stand his ground in the Premier League and it was the same for me.
“I didn’t have the aggression of Martinez or (Nemanja) Vidic, and I didn’t have the height of [Chris] Smalling when I played alongside him, but I was in the right position nine times out of 10.”
Martinez has made six appearances across competitions for Manchester United but has missed the last three games due to injury.
Erik ten Hag on Manchester United’s upturn in form
The Red Devils have had a poor start to the 2023-24 season, with three wins and three defeats in the Premier League. They are currently ninth in the table, nine points behind leaders and rivals Manchester City.
Manchester United also lost in the UEFA Champions League opener against Bayern Munich. However, they have now accumulated two straight wins – 1-0 at Burnley in the Premier League and 3-0 over Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup third round.
Reflecting on their start of the season and building momentum, manager Erik ten Hag recently told the club’s website:
“The mood with us is always good, but of course, when you are not winning, at United, there is disappointment, there is frustration, but the togetherness is always there with us. We know that we are not now in the position where we want to be, yeah.”
“So we have to build up, we have to catch up. Then you have to go from game to game, working on the process and working on the results. We don’t think too far ahead, the next game is the most important, always.”
Manchester United now have three straight home games, starting with Crystal Palace in the league on September 30. They will then host Galatasaray in the Champions League on October 3 before welcoming Brentford on October 7.