Versatile Martinez Offers Ten Hag And Guy United Plenty Of Options

After a fairly slow start, the primary segment of Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United revolution is subsequently gathering momentum.


The new supervisor will experience a whole lot better to get some fresh faces through the door at Old Trafford, with Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen signed, sealed and brought.

And the trendy acquisition sees Lisandro Martinez are available from Ten Hag’s former membership Ajax, in a deal so that it will in the end fee United £fifty five.3million.

Manchester United have secured the £55million signing of Lisandro Martinez from Ajax – reuniting the Argentine together with his former instruct Erik ten Hag

Martinez, 24, offers versatility and can play at centre-again, left-again and protecting midfield

It’s a clever flow. Not handiest is the Argentina global well acquainted with the needs of Ten Hag from their time collectively in Amsterdam, he gives United plenty of versatility.

Martinez, 24, can play as a relevant defender, a left-returned or as a protective midfielder, with enjoy of gambling within the four-3-3 or 3-five-2 formations that the coach favours.

Ten Hag knew when he commenced the task that vital defence and shielding midfield had been the maximum urgent issues to clear up in a United crew that carried out nicely under the expected standards closing season.

Martinez received two Dutch league titles at some point of his time within the Ajax ranks, plus the Dutch cup

Martinez may not therapy all ills however Ten Hag will feel much better to have him on board. It’s not likely to change the situation with Frenkie de Jong, but, who become usually his No 1 goal for the summer season.

Although United and Barcelona have agreed a £71.5m charge for the Dutch midfielder, De Jong is reluctant to surrender Champions League soccer at the Nou Camp, even if being shunted in the direction of the go out door.

So in which will Martinez healthy into Ten Hag’s plans for United and what is going to the new boy offer them?


The maximum probably state of affairs is that Martinez joins United’s pool of centre-halves.

Ten Hag typically deployed a four-three-three shape during his time coping with Ajax, with Martinez partnering Jurrien Timber, every other United goal this summer season, at centre-back inside the majority of games.

But the proof of United’s pre-season friendlies to this point is that Ten Hag will set them out of their familiar four-2-3-1 and given this has delivered 4-zero and 4-1 wins, it isn’t always likely to change quickly.

So Martinez is possibly to be paired with both captain Harry Maguire or Raphael Varane on the again. 

Captain Harry Maguire may be sweating on his location with a brand new significant defender coming in

Those three may be the favoured centre-backs, in some thing aggregate, with Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly losing down the defensive pecking order given lingering doubts approximately their capabilities.

Varane’s diverse damage problems prevented him playing as a good deal as he could have preferred at some stage in his first season at United but there were a few encouraging signs and symptoms when he played along Maguire.

But certainly one of them would have to make manner for Martinez to are available in, with the brand new arrival offering a point of distinction in that he’s left-footed.

Martinez is cushty at the ball and adept at passing out of defence, capabilities that were mandatory at Ten Hag’s Ajax, and in spite of being simplest 5ft 9in is very strong aerially.

He is the sort of person who will get pleasure from the bodily battles which might be part of the task description in English football and is aware of precisely what his manager may be demanding of him.

How Man United should doubtlessly line up inside the coming season with Martinez in defence

Raphael Varane struggled with damage issues throughout his first season at Old Trafford

The key question is who makes way to deal with Martinez. Ten Hag has already made clean his religion in Maguire as his captain notwithstanding the England defender’s negative form ultimate season.

Maguire additionally generally performs on the left of the 2, with Varane or Lindelof on the right, and that’s where Martinez might want to be.

However, in Friday’s friendly win over Melbourne Victory, Maguire and Lindelof swapped positions. It could be a subtle hint from Ten Hag that Martinez is going to line up alongside Maguire as the first-desire pairing.

That will no question annoy Varane, who did not get danger to absolutely display his magnificence at some stage in a turbulent first season.

But, in reality, all will get plenty of possibilities given the inevitable accidents and suspensions, no longer to mention the sheer weight of video games with United slogging thru the Europa League once more within the season beforehand.

Victor Lindelof will drop down the pecking order having featured regularly remaining season

This increases the opportunity of Ten Hag putting United up with three central defenders, making area for Martinez, Maguire and Varane in anything mixture.

It’s not something he favoured at Ajax however can be taken into consideration if United make a gradual start to the Premier League season or clearly as a returned-up plan.

It could involve repurposing Luke Shaw as a left wing-returned – as he played for England all through some of Euro 2020 – or playing new boy Malacia in the function, and getting greater attacking gains out of Aaron Wan-Bissaka or Diogo Dalot.

Such a flow would offer reassurance for Maguire, who is used to playing that way for England and additionally could have the insurance of different defenders if he wanted to dribble the ball out.

Martinez’s composure as a ball-gambling imperative defender could be an asset for United 

But switching to this system might require an entire lot of work on the education ground.

Last season, Ralf Rangnick decided to tear up United’s traditional game plan and play a five-three-2 in opposition to Liverpool at Anfield, with a returned line of Dalot, Maguire, Jones, Lindelof and Wan-Bissaka (on the left). United misplaced four-zero.

It won’t come clearly to United’s players and so isn’t the most likely alternative – at the least no longer first of all.

When Martinez arrived at Ajax in 2019 from the Argentine club Defensa y Justicia, he turned into a midfielder and Ten Hag supposed for him to replace De Jong, who’d simply joined Barcelona.

Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong is Ten Hag’s No 1 summer time switch goal

The educate desired Martinez to be his midfield ‘mind’, gambling the neat passes that maintain Ajax ticking over. But there has been masses of brawn as properly.

Martinez turned into nicknamed the ‘Butcher of Amsterdam’ for his uncompromising tackles and South American passion.

As he has said in the past: ‘I am called the carnicero – the Butcher – of Amsterdam.

‘We Argentines do the entirety with passion and when I go out on the pitch I combat for each ball. If I ought to step over dead bodies, I do it.

‘I need to win each 50-50 scenario due to the fact I recognise that I am combating for food for every member of my own family and for my buddies.

‘That is the sensation I actually have – and every Argentinian has. It is the sort of motivation I can not provide an explanation for.’

However, he failed to always locate it clean at Ajax. It took him some time to modify to the ‘Ajax manner’ of soccer.

‘In the primary three weeks, I had a horrible time. It is absolutely one of a kind, any other depth,’ he advised La Nacion in 2020.

‘At first I desired to go domestic and cry. I felt bad.

‘I am a participant who loves to have the ball, but once they performed me with one or two touches, they killed me.’

How United may want to line-up if Martinez is deployed as a holding midfielder by means of Erik ten Hag

Martinez has played in midfield for Ajax and might experience snug there for United

He did sooner or later arise to hurry in midfield however might be converted into a centre-half of later in his time at Ajax.

Martinez has said within the past he would be open to returning to a midfield position if required. This is more likely if United fail of their pursuit of De Jong.

They handiest have Scott McTominay and Fred as installed names in defensive midfield and so Martinez might be a 3rd choice. This might additionally resolve the critical protective dilemma.

But Ten Hag is a stubborn guy and, having positioned De Jong pinnacle of his shopping listing due to the fact he’s so critical to how he wants to play, he’ll assume the deal to be executed.

In some other sign of how versatile he’s, Martinez did occasionally play at left-again for Ajax.

But given United have Shaw, Malacia and additionally Alex Telles in that position, they should be nicely-stocked until there’s a freak damage disaster.

However, it’s peace of thoughts for Ten Hag to know he has a person who can suit in there.

United offered Tyrell Malacia to strengthen their left-lower back alternatives earlier inside the summer season

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