Erik ten Hag commends Manchester United duo of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez after the Rayo Vallecano game
The gaffer decided to start the Frenchman and Argentine, who played together for an hour in the 1-1 draw against the Spanish opposition. The duo looked solid at the back.
Ten Hag was all praise for the Varane-Martinez partnership after the game. Speaking to MUTV in the post-match interview via Manchester Evening News, the gaffer felt the combination worked and spoke about integrating the new signing into the squad.
“I think it was a really good combination with Rapha and I think they played really solid and that was good to see.
“The question is how do you integrate him, but I think he will integrate quite well into the team.”
Martinez was United’s third major signing this summer after Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen came through the door. The defender signed from Ajax Amsterdam for a hefty fee and is one to keep an eye out for next season.
The Argentine is a versatile defender. For the Amsterdam-based club, the 24-year-old was mostly deployed at centre-back. He is also capable of playing in the left back as well as the defensive midfield position.
In Martinez’s three seasons under Ten Hag in the Netherlands, the Argentine has made a name for himself as a good player with the ball at his feet. But the 24-year-old is also an aggressive, no-nonsense defender when needed.
Despite being 1.75m in height, fans who’ve seen him play regularly know that Martinez is good in the air. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in defensive nous.
Last season, United had a poor defensive record, conceding 57 goals in the Premier League. We ended the campaign with a goal difference of zero. Harry Maguire, Varane and Victor Lindelof were given chances but failed to convince fans.
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With a new manager in Ten Hag, the pre-season has looked promising. The arrival of Martinez in the squad has meant we’ve added depth to our defence. It remains to be seen who starts the season’s opening game against Brighton on 7 August.