Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has given fans an insight into the kind of player that Lisandro Martinez is ahead of final completion of the centre-back’s move from Ajax.
United confirmed on Sunday that there is a deal in place with Ajax, with the transfer still subject to a medical, personal terms and UK visa requirements.
It is worth an initial £49m, topped up by a further £9m in add-ons. That means Martinez stands to be the second most expensive defender in the club’s history, ahead of Raphael Varane and Aaron Wan-Bissaka and behind only Harry Maguire.
Ten Hag was in charge at Ajax when Martinez first moved to Amsterdam in 2019 and has overseen his development over the last few years.
“He’s a warrior and I think the fans will admire him. He has an attitude, fighting spirit,” the boss told ManUtd.com. “He brings aggressiveness in the game, in a good way. I think we need that. But also, he’s also skilful and he can deal with the ball and he’s left-footed.”
Argentine players have largely been popular with United fans in the past. Juan Sebastian Veron, Gabriel Heinze and Carlos Tevez all became cult heroes at Old Trafford, although the latter two left under a cloud due to the manner of their exits.
Marcos Rojo was less successful in more recent years, while goalkeeper Sergio Romero enjoyed a respectable run as David de Gea’s reliable understudy.