Ten Hag hopes for long association with Martinez

Thursday 09 March 2023 09:38

Lisandro Martinez's popularity among the Manchester United support has been apparent ever since he arrived from Ajax.

The World Cup winner has his own chant and the fans love the way he approaches the game, biting into challenges but showing real composure when on the ball.

While the supporters clearly admire his play, the manager also has his own thoughts on the subject. Having decided to bring the defender with him from Amsterdam to Manchester, the boss was asked for his thoughts on the 'Butcher' nickname, plus the character and style of the centre-back, during a recent interview with UEFA.

It is obvious Erik wants to continue working with the 25-year-old for many years to come.

Matchday Q&A | Ten Hag on Real Betis (H) Video

Matchday Q&A | Ten Hag on Real Betis (H)

Erik expresses his determination to get back to winning ways, and identifies Real Betis's threats...

"I see 'The Butcher' in a positive way," said Ten Hag. "Not in a negative way. His playing [style is] tough but not unfair. I think he is, especially, he is a defender, and he is defending in a good way – on the ball because it is [about] positioning, anticipation and co-operation.

"It is sublime. It’s extraordinary to work with him and because he has that capacity, and he wants to improve day by day. So, it’s nice to see his defending style. His attitude – everyone loves it, the fans love it, the defence loves it, and it gives spirit to the team.

"[When he is] on the ball, he can deal with it. I like him as a player. I like the attitude [that he has], and I hope that we can co-operate for a long time together."

Martinez has made 37 appearances, to date, in his debut season with the Reds and will hope to make it 38 when we take on Real Betis tonight (Thursday). 

The Europa League round-of-16 first leg provides an opportunity for Licha and his team-mates to return to action, following the hugely disappointing performance at Liverpool on Sunday.

Our no.6 also played five times for Argentina at the World Cup, as the South Americans ultimately lifted the trophy in Qatar.