Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand is hugely impressed with the club’s new incoming defender Lisandro Martinez but does have two concerns about the player.
The Argentina international looks set to join the Red Devils after Ajax accepted a £46million for the 24-year-old, who was originally heavily linked with a move to Premier League rivals Arsenal.
Erik ten Hag wanted to meet with his former player in Manchester. But while Ferdinand does think it’s good business for his old side he does also have two worries.
“The more I’ve looked into him and the vibes and the stories I’m hearing and the mutterings from different people – it gets better,” the former England man said on his YouTube channel FIVE.
“I listened to an interview with Jurrien Timber, the young player that United were looking to sign, the center back Martinez played alongside at Ajax. He was basically saying ‘when I’m not on my game and a bit out of concentration, Martinez always shouts at me, he always swears at me in his language and gets me going’.
“I’ve been shouting about the character element for a long time. And from what I’m hearing from various people, Timber being one of them, is that he has the character, he’s a leader, he demands off other people and he’s somebody who wants to get physical and very aggressive but who can also play. ”
Rio worried about Martinez physical traits
Ferdinand does, however, have a couple of reservations about the versatile centre-back.
He added: “If you’re going to ask is there any question marks about him? I think it would be his height and his pace would be the only two.
Martinez only measures up at 5 ft 9 in, which is much shorter than regular Man Utd centre-back Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane. However, he does make up for his lack of stature with his technical ability and quality on the ball.
Despite being a natural centre-back, Martinez can also play in midfield or at full-back.
Lisandro Martinez is a top signing for Man United
Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez is closing in on a move to Manchester United.
And Ferdinand is impressed with that sort of versatility and added: “I think they’ll be a mix because he’s very comfortable at playing both positions.
“If it suits them to play him in midfield and they want the extra body, an extra bit of resilience in front of the back four, protection and somebody who knows how to defend in there, then I think they may be utilizing that.
“But if we’ve got a lot of the ball and we’re expecting to dominate possession against the so-called lesser teams, maybe then he may not be called in for that position and may slot back into the centre-back position or maybe not even starting.”
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