The revolution led by Erik Ten Hag continues to take shape at Old Trafford with the arrival of the Argentine defender.
Manchester United have signed Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, with the Argentina international defender joining Old Trafford after a long transfer saga. Erik ten Hag quickly identified the 24-year-old as a top target after he left the Eredivisie champions himself to join the Premier League heavyweights in the summer.
The Red Devils are ahead of Arsenal
He now has his man, and the Red Devils are bolstering their backline with a player who will be eager to impress in his new surroundings, especially with the 2022 World Cup fast approaching.
The Red Devils are investing £45m (around €50m) in Martinez, adding another high-value centre-back to their defensive ranks.
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Manchester weren’t the only Premier League side interested in Martinez during the current transfer window, with old rivals Arsenal also looking to complete a deal at some point.
The Gunners had a formal offer on the table but GOAL were able to confirm that interest from Emirates Stadium has cooled after they were unable to agree a price.
Former goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, now Ajax chief executive, is said to have helped the Red Devils secure a deal.
Will Martinez start with the Red Devils?
The funds needed to complete a transfer for Martinez suggests he will be lined up for a starting spot at Ten Hag.
However, United have a number of other international centre-backs and big decisions will have to be made regarding rotation and possible departures.
It has been confirmed that Harry Maguire will retain his captaincy for 2022-23, meaning he is set to start many domestic and European matches, while Raphael Varane won the World Cup with France.
Victor Lindelof has made nearly 200 appearances for United, and remains a reliable option, while Ivory Coast star Eric Bailly is a popular figure among supporters, although he has struggled to find regular playing time lately.
Ten Hag didn’t inherit a shortage of centre-backs at United, but it’s a question of whether they have the right profile to play his possession-based game and build from the back.
Martinez is seen as such and the new United manager isn’t worried about his short stature, having watched him dominate in the Netherlands with Ajax.
The Argentina international is also good in possession and will be comfortable taking the ball in tight spaces when under pressure.
As a left centre-back, he can either cover Harry Maguire or allow the United captain to move to the right, where he is more comfortable.
Who else will Manchester United sign this summer?
In recent weeks, attention has focused on Cristiano Ronaldo and his desire to leave for a trophy-seeking rival.
FC Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has been high on their list of summer buys for some time now.
A deal to sign the Dutch international from Barcelona is now close, and like Martinez, he’s another player Ten Hag knows well from having known him at Ajax, along with a number of other stars linked with the giants. of the Eredivisie that the Dutch tactician has his eye on.
There have been talks of Brazilian striker Antony leaving Amsterdam for Manchester, but Jurrien Timber seems destined to stay in the Netherlands.
Despite struggling to land a right-back at Old Trafford, Ten Hag have finalized the signing of highly-rated 22-year-old left-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord.
Christian Eriksen has also signed for free from Brentford, while a back-up goalkeeper could be brought in after Dean Henderson left on loan at Nottingham Forest.