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“I will play”- Manchester United defender claims he is open to playing in midfield

Lisandro Martinez of Manchester United vs Real Betis
Lisandro Martinez of Manchester United (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez has admitted that he could play midfield if asked by the manager

Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez, while speaking ahead of the UEFA Europa League second leg tie against Real Betis (h/t Manchester Evening News) has revealed that he could play as a midfielder if asked by manager Erik ten Hag.

Martinez, nicknamed “The Butcher” was signed by Ajax in the summer and has instantly become a fan favourite due to his way of aggressive defending and ability to play out from the back.

His qualities have taken United up a notch and have also Raphael Varane to come back to his side with an aggressive tackler by his side, just like the role played by Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid during the Frenchman’s time there.

Manchester United's Argentinian defender Lisandro Martinez (R) and Manchester United's Brazilian midfielder Casemiro celebrate at the end of the UEFA Europa league knockout round play-off second leg football match between Manchester United and FC Barcelona at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, north west England, on February 23, 2023. - Manchester United won 2 - 1 against FC Barcelona
Manchester United could play the Casemiro role in his absence (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

There was competition in the summer for Martinez from direct rivals Arsenal but the fact that he had worked under Erik ten Hag at Ajax worked in our favour and he choose Old Trafford as his next destination.

Aside from his impressive defending and composure to play out passes from the back, another reason why Ten Hag signed him was due to the multi-positional variety that the World Cup winner provides.

At his previous clubs, Martinez except centre-back has also played as a left-back and even in midfield, as the holding midfielder and although we have not seen him do that in a United shirt, the Argentine believes he could play in midfield if asked by the manager.

“We have many good midfielders. Like I have said in many interviews, I will play wherever the coach wants to use me.”

Raphael Varane feels Manchester United need to find different balance without Casemiro.
Casemiro is suspended for four games after his red card against Southampton (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

With Casemiro suspended for four games after getting a red card against Southampton, our only current midfield options are Fred and Scott Mctominay barring Marcel Sabitzer’s return from his injury.

There is definitely a shortage and the quality and calmness that Caemiro brings to the side will surely be missed. Fred and Mctominay, although good squad players, do not provide the same level of protection to the back four and are better playing as a 6 than holding midfielders.

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Hence, it could come down to a situation where Ten Hag might play Martinez as a holding midfielder, providing more security to the back four, especially in an important tie like Newcastle United. The player has certainly given his nod for that.

Written by Yuvraj Singh

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