Man United icons Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic assess Lisandro Martinez’s current form and describe his strengths

After signing from Ajax in the summer, Manchester United centre-back Lisandro Martinez has formed an effective partnership with defensive partner Raphael Varane.

Erik ten Hag was right about Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez
Erik ten Hag was right about Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez

Former Manchester United star Nemanja Vidic has been impressed by “great signing” Lisandro Martinez since the Argentina international’s move to Old Trafford.

Martinez followed Erik ten Hag to Manchester over the summer, having impressed for the Dutch coach in Ajax’s run to last season’s Eredivisie title. After a challenging start to life in England, the 25-year-old has developed into a key player for Ten Hag at a second club.

The World Cup winner has formed an eye-catching partnership with Raphael Varane, with the form of the pair relegating club captain Harry Maguire to the bench for much of the season. Vidic himself was part of what many have called United’s best ever centre-back pairing, along with former England international Rio Ferdinand, and the Serbian has given his say on the club’s new number six.

“Lisandro came just six months ago, so he did really well,” Vidic told the i. “He brings energy, he likes to defend. He seems like he’s enjoying playing in England. He was a great signing.

Man Utd legend Nemanja Vidic gives verdict on Lisandro Martinez
Man Utd legend Nemanja Vidic gives verdict on Lisandro Martinez

“Varane is an experienced player, he has a few issues with injuries but definitely I think there’s more to come from them. The more they play together the better the partnership will be.

“I’m really pleased with how Lisandro did when he joined the club. There were some issues, people were concerned if he could play in England, but as an ex player and a defender I’m really happy how he’s playing and especially that energy he gives to the team, that aggression and winning mentality.”

Vidic’s comments come after his former team-mate Ferdinand also hailed Martinez. Speaking on his FIVE YouTube channel, the ex-England star suggested – at least on form – it was hard to find another centre-back in the league who was a match for the Argentine.

Rio Ferdinand lists six qualities that Lisandro Martinez
Rio Ferdinand lists qualities that Lisandro Martinez

“On form right now, I don’t think there’s really much argument coming from anywhere else,” Ferdinand said. “I think he’s dominant, he’s aggressive, he’s a leader, he communicates well, he shows character, he’s there in big moments.

“But I was one of the ones questioning, ‘Is he physically gonna be able to compete here if teams isolate him, if teams isolate him?’. And that’s where Erik ten Hag has been confident in tactically being able to keep teams away from being able to dominate enough possession to isolate someone like Martinez.

“And, up till now, he hasn’t been exposed in that sense. On a regular basis, week after week, are we not sitting there going, ‘That’s a recurring problem, there. It continues to happen, someone’s pulling out on him and jumping over him or bullying him physically’. We haven’t seen that, that hasn’t become the narrative, and you have to say well done to him but also well done to the recruitment up to now.”



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