Lisandro Martinez Signs for United: the Butcher of Amsterdam has Arrived

Manchester United confirmed signing Lisandro Martinez last week from Ajax, on a five year deal until June 2027 with the option to extend for another year.

United paid £48.3m for the Argentine international, with an additional £8.4m in add-ons. The move sees Martinez link up with his former manager Erik ten Hag, who signed Martinez for Ajax back in 2019.

“It’s an honour to join this great football club,” said Martinez. “I’ve worked so hard to get to this moment and, now that I’m here, I’m going to push myself even further.”

Earning 177 career club appearances and seven national appearances, Martinez won two Eredivisie titles and the 2021 Copa America. With such accolades and an already-established relationship with the manager, what does he offer United?

Martinez for Argentina. Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Lisandro Martinez for Argentina. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Reunited with ten Hag

“He’s a warrior and I think the fans will admire him. He has an attitude, fighting spirit,” Ten Hag told MUTV. “He brings aggressiveness in the game, in a good way…. But also, he’s also skilful and he can deal with the ball and he’s left-footed.”

Ten Hag is confident that his latest signing has the right mindset to settle into the Premier League; Martinez is already used to his coaching. “I think the Premier League is high intensity, lots of challenges,” he said. “Certain ideas, [Martinez] knows them. That is an advantage, clearly.”

However, the Dutchman was quick to point out that Martinez would need to adapt. “[He] has to adapt, to a new country, a new club, new team-mates. So also a lot of things will be different.”

Fitting in at United

Martinez averaged more passes than anyone else per 90 minutes in the Eredivisie last season, highlighting the ease with which he can both control play through the opposition and pick out his own teammates throughout the field for longer crosses and assists.

United are expected to have more of a driven approach by creating plays from the back under ten Hag. It’s only logical for him to want a defender who’s comfortable with possession, commands his own space, and is still a threat during set pieces.

Martinez can easily cover ground on his own but also contribute to attacks. Ten Hag is confident his signing fits the bill and can easily defend large spaces when the team presses forward.

“I’ve been lucky enough to be part of successful teams in my career and that’s what I want to continue at Manchester United,” Martinez said. “There will be a lot of work to get to that moment, but I firmly believe that, under this manager and coaches, and together with my new team-mates, we can do it.”

About Sabaa 41 Articles
New Yorker living in London. Likes beyond football include chocolate, naps, coffee, and doing nothing. Dislikes include losing (anything, not just football matches), insects, and waking up before my alarm clock. The one thing I know for certain is that I'll never stop loving this team.

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