Lisandro Martinez problem identified at Man Utd - “We’ve talked about it a lot”

The Manchester United centre-back has been given both some praise and some words of wisdom from a man who knows all about defending for the Red Devils in Jaap Stam

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Manchester United legend Jaap Stam has explained that Lisandro Martinez still has one key weakness in his game despite a stellar debut campaign at Old Trafford.

The Argentine shone last term following his £57million switch to the red half of Manchester from Ajax, establishing himself as one of the first names on Erik ten Hag’s teamsheet. The pair were already well-versed in each other’s strengths from their shared time with the Dutch giants.

United had to fend off interest from Premier League rivals Arsenal to land Martinez’s signature, but a reunion with Ten Hag was too tempting to turn down. Though the defender has been the subject of plenty of praise since his arrival at United, Stam has explained there are still things he can work on but also acknowledged his quality.

“Defensively he may not be the greatest, and we’ve talked about it a lot, but he’s very smart in his one-on-ones and his duels. He uses his body well. His positioning is good. He was very impressive,” the Red Devils legend told the United website.

The opening exchanges of Martinez’s United career were scrutinised more than most players’ first two games, with many fans and pundits alike claiming that the World Cup winner did not boast the physical presence required to thrive as a centre-back in the English top-flight.

Martinez quickly debunked that theory, proving that he could more than hold his own against the league’s most lethal forwards. United ended the season with the most clean sheets in the division, a testament to their defensive line-up.

Stam did go on to heap further praise on the ex-Ajax man, waxing lyrical over Martinez’s technical ability while addressing those early season jitters that prompted doubt among some supporters.

Lisandro Martinez has had his game analysed by a United legend in Jaap Stam Lisandro Martinez has had his game analysed by a United legend in Jaap Stam (


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“Martinez did very well. At the start of last season, I think he needed to adapt to the league, the opponent and the way he can play. Since then he has been very good, very calm on the pitch. He also finds the right free player in midfield. His passing is very, very good.

“His positioning is good so he’s been very impressive and, hopefully, after his injury, he’s coming back now. Hopefully, he can keep that up this season as well. But, of course, he needs to have players around him to help him out at times, as well. That’s important, I think, for every player in every position.”

United are expected to go into next season with the same central defensive pairing that served them so well last term with Martinez lining up alongside fellow World Cup winner and ex-Real Madrid stalwart Raphael Varane.

Both suffered injuries at different times last season and Ten Hag will be desperate to keep both at full fitness next term as United look to produce a title tilt to dethrone their local rivals Manchester City.