Italian legend Giorgio Chiellini heaps praise on Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez
Speaking to ESPN Argentina (h/t Mirror), Italy and Juventus legend Giorgio Chiellini heaped praise on the quality and consistency of performances shown by Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez.
Martinez came into heavy criticism after the first few games in a United following his big-money move from Ajax last summer. Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher claimed that the Argentine cannot play as a centre-back in the Premier League.
However, the 25-year-old has proven Carragher and everyone wrong by doing well in a league that requires physical strength along with technical ability. His partnership with Raphael Varane has blossomed under the coaching of Erik ten Hag.
When talking about Martinez, Chiellini admitted that he had doubts about how the Argentine can play as a defender with that height. But the United man has proved him wrong too. Here’s what the Italian said (h/t Mirror):
“He is very good. Technically very good and he has a good attitude. He’s not too tall, he’s aggressive, fast, technically he’s perfect.
“I think mixed with another kind of defender he’s perfect, but it was always the same for me and Bonucci, we completed each other. Lisandro could play with Otamendi, Romero for the national team, they’re perfect to play with him.
“I didn’t think to be honest some years ago when I see at the beginning and he started to play as a defender, [I didn’t think] he could arrive at this level in that position, I made a mistake as in the last two years he was really unbelievable.”
When someone as good as Chiellini is heaping praise on Martinez, one can imagine how good the 25-year-old has been for us this season.
The 2022 World Cup winner has shown tenacity, physical strength, technical ability on the ball and excellent reading of the game. What he is doing is neglecting the issues he may have when dealing with strikers taller than him by anticipating opposition attacks and snuffing them out. He is great at tackling as well.
The key for Martinez now is to continue in this vein. There will be teams who would come to target his weakness. The way he can counter that is by doing what he has so far in this campaign.
He will be up against a physically-strong Newcastle United side in the Carabao Cup Final. We won’t be surprised if the Magpies target his side with long balls to their strikers, be it Callum Wilson or Alexander Isak.
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However, Martinez has dealt with most challenges very well. We hope he does that later today and help us in lifting the trophy.