Jamie Carragher has admitted that he is not yet completely convinced that Manchester United's current central defender Lisandro Martinez is a viable long-term option for the club.
During the summer transfer window, Martinez was acquired by the Red Devils from Ajax for a fee that exceeded fifty million pounds, and he was immediately inserted into the starting lineup at Old Trafford. His career in the Premier League, however, got off to a shaky start when United suffered a defeat to Brighton on the first day of the season and then was routed by Brentford by a score of 4-0.
After the loss in west London, Martinez was the target of severe criticism, and his future as a central defender was called into serious question. Gary Neville, Carragher's colleague at Sky Sports, and others thought that the Argentine's height of 5 feet 9 inches prevented him from being successful as a central defender in a back four.
Neville suggested playing him on the left side of a back three, stating that this formation had the potential to be successful. "Perhaps playing in the midfield, as we are aware that he is capable of doing that."
However, since those early shocks, Martinez has warmed up to the task, helping United to win four league games in a row and showing signs of a formidable partnership with Raphael Varane. Since those early shocks, United has won four league games in a row.
This weekend, the duo will face their most difficult test to date when they go up against Manchester City, specifically Erling Haaland, who will be lining up on the opposing side. In addition, Carragher offered some words of advice to the United defender regarding how he should deal with Haaland.
"The best advice Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag can offer Lisandro Martinez about dealing with Erling Haaland is to keep away from him," the Liverpool legend wrote in his column for The Telegraph. "The best advice Erik ten Hag can offer Lisandro Martinez about dealing with Erling Haaland is to keep away from him."
There are certain conflicts that can be won by outmanoeuvring or outwitting an adversary. The other participants require some innovative thought. In order to get the better of his competitor from Manchester City this weekend, Martnez will need to be at the top of his game.
Carragher is adamant that Martinez will reveal the limitations he still considers to be present in his game if he attempts to engage the Norwegian forward in a physical contest. Carragher says this will happen if Martinez tries to make the match a fight between the two of them. "Martnez's first few outings in a United shirt have shown a lot of promise, which is exciting to see. He went on to say that the fans have adopted him as a cult figure due to the fact that he is a natural born fighter and leader. In the long run, however, the concerns I had when I first saw Martinez have not been allayed.
Erling Haaland will face Lisandro Martinez this weekend.
He doesn't appear to have the height necessary to play center defense in the Premier League. We saw how tough it is for Martinez to play when United struggled terribly against Brentford, a game in which he was replaced at halftime, and we saw how difficult it is for him if opponents deliver long balls into the penalty box to a striker who enjoys receiving such service like Ivan Toney.
When confronted with ongoing aerial challenges, there is nothing a person can do to mitigate the impact of having a height disadvantage.
Martinez responded to those who have been critical of him this week by saying that he is content to ignore their opinions while he continues to settle into his role with United. "I couldn't care less about what other people think. According to what he shared with tYc Sports, "I believe in myself and I trust my abilities."
"I have always put in a lot of effort. Because of this, I will be able to achieve the results I have been working toward. To tell you the truth, it was a lifelong goal of mine to play for a massive club like Manchester United, and it was even more of a dream come true to play in the Premier League, which is widely regarded as one of the top leagues in the entire world. I am overjoyed to feel this way.