Graeme Souness insists Lisandro Martinez will get ‘found out’ when coming up against physical strikers, as the Liverpool legend continues to criticise his abilities.
Manchester United’s disastrous start to the season, particularly the thrashing at Brentford’s hands, saw summer arrival Lisandro Martinez get heavily criticised. The 5’9″ Argentine defender was bullied by Brentford players, especially Ben Mee, who leapfrogged him to score the Bees’ third goal.
Since then, Martinez has become a solid part of Erik ten Hag’s backline at Manchester United, putting in tremendous performances against Liverpool and Southampton, where he was one of Manchester United’s better players.
Martinez arrived at Manchester United from Ajax in a big-money transfer, with ten Hag particularly keen on a reunion with the Argentine. In the Premier League, where height is a significant factor for a central defender, the former Ajax defender sorely lacks it. However, Martinez offsets that deficiency with his aggressive style and ability on the ball.
Despite growing evidence of his adaptation going well at Manchester United, Graeme Souness continues to criticise the defender’s abilities. The Liverpool legend has suggested that Martinez will get ‘found out’ when facing strikers such as Erling Haaland or Darwin Nunez.
? “I think Martinez will be sorely tested and be found out in the PL.”
❌ “He’s not special at anything!”
?♂️ “Martinez goes to ground too readily, the clever defenders stay on their feet.”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) August 29, 2022
Souness told talkSPORT, “He’s not particularly special at anything. I would say he’s aggressive, and the other thing I don’t like about him, he goes to the ground too readily, that is not a good sign for a defender, the clever ones stay on their feet, and they’re reading it, they’re there, they’re anticipating if you’re lunging all the time you’re not reading it.”
The Liverpool legend continued, “I come back to his size; he will get found out in the Premier League. I fire this question out to the listeners; I’ve been in the game a long time; I can’t tell you, anyone, that size who’s been a success in our game, I think ultimately you get found out.”
“He’s vertically challenged; I was racking my mind to come up with anyone who’s played in the Premier League or the first division that size and been a success; I think he will get sorely tested and found out getting forward. Imagine what [Erling] Haaland’s going to do to him, or [Darwin] Nunez or [Aleksandar] Mitrovic? Deary me, it will be a mismatch.”
This is not the only criticism Souness has directed towards a Manchester United signing recently. The Liverpool legend also slammed the club’s recruitment of Casemiro, claiming the Brazilian midfielder has not been a great player in his career, despite winning the UEFA Champions League five times.
As for Martinez, the criticisms continue to flow, and things will be pointed toward his height. For now, the Argentine seems to be adapting well to the physical nature of the Premier League and is expected to keep growing in stature. However, Souness may have a point about facing big strikers like Haaland or Nunez, and we will have to wait and find out if Martinez gets ‘found out’.