Lisandro Martinez and his great start to life at Manchester United
A familiar pattern was emerging in how Manchester United are playing this season when Anthony Martial scored the second goal for the Red Devils in Man United’s 3-2 win against Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League last week.
Martial, who Erik ten Hag had just brought on, received a sublime flick from Marcus Rashford that garnered all the attention in the build-up to the goal but what went rather under the radar was the man who started this all off with a sublime through ball from defence, Lisandro Martinez.
Much has been made of Martinez’s transfer to Manchester United this summer with several people doubting the talented Argentinian’s ability to compete in the Premier League even before he started playing for the Red Devils.
One of the main reasons why the knives have been out on Martinez is his height. The talented 24-year-old has been ridiculed for his size ever since he came here. Granted that the former Ajax man is not the tallest central defender going around, but Martinez more than makes up for it with his other attributes.
With every passing game, it is only becoming more and more evident why Erik ten Hag rates Martinez so highly. He offers the Red Devils a progressive passing option like they never did for many seasons and some of his passes from central defence are absolutely breathtaking.
Martinez completed the most progressive passes of any Manchester United player on the day against Omonia and his numbers from the game are simply mind-boggling. His defensive stats, along with his passing numbers, were right up there too.
The performance against Omonia was not a one-off by any stretch of imagination. Martinez followed up the Europa League game with a stellar display against Everton in the Premier League last weekend.
This has been a pattern that has been emerging in Martinez’s game for quite some time now. Over the past 365 days, according to data collected from fbref, it is easy to see how good Martinez has been compared to other players in his position.
Martinez completes a large volume of passes per match, averaging 75.06 passes per 90 which put him in the 93rd percentile amongst his peers. Whilst this is impressive, it is in the progressive passes that the Argentinian really stands out.
The 24-year-old centre-back completes 6.05 progressive passes per 90, which puts him in the 99th percentile amongst his peers. This shows that Martinez is right up there when it comes to playing progressive passes amongst his positional peers.
It shows that his performances in a Red Devils shirt are not a one-off and there is a reason why Erik ten Hag values him so much. He has already shown how he can influence games with these line-breaking passes from the defence.
With every passing game, the former Ajax man is successfully managing to shut down his critics and prove that he can play in the Premier League. He is also showing that he has something in his armoury that none of the other defenders at the club do, and this is making Man United click on many occasions.
Lisandro Martinez seems to be Erik ten Hag’s secret and most potent weapon yet. The Dutchman wanted the 24-year-old at Old Trafford, and now we are able to see why he was so adamant. For all his passing prowess, we must not forget that the Argentinian is a solid defender too.
More Manchester United News
- Erik ten Hag and Manchester United chiefs at loggerheads over potential Frenkie de Jong and Jude Bellingham deals
- Barcelona eye free-transfer swoop for Youri Tielemans, who Manchester United were keen on in the summer
- Erik ten Hag believes Antony showcased his best yet for Manchester United vs Everton
Martinez has a long way to go in his Man United career but the start has been extremely promising. Let’s hope it continues for a very long time.