Could Martinez play in midfield?
On this week’s episode of The Debate, the panellists discuss Manchester United’s new signing Lisandro Martinez.
Martinez made his first appearance for the Reds on Sunday, during the 1-1 friendly draw with Rayo Vallecano.
The Argentina international impressed while playing 61 minutes against the Spanish side.
He lined up in central defence, alongside Raphael Varane, but ESPN journalist Rob Dawson believes he could be deployed further up the field if needed – as he was at times for his former club Ajax, under Erik ten Hag.
“In terms of the balance of the squad, I’m surprised we’re not hearing more about Martinez playing midfield,” Dawson said. “He did that at Ajax occasionally.
“They’ve got so many centre-halves, they’ve got [Victor] Lindelof, Harry [Maguire], [Raphael] Varane, [Eric] Bailly.
“There’s no reason why not. He can play there [in midfield]: he’s done it before. He [Ten Hag] obviously wants that balance at the back, with the left footer and a right footer. It looks more balanced when you’ve got a left footer.
“If they don’t get a midfielder in, I don’t see why he’s not an option because he’s that type of player, isn’t he? Physical, strong and wins the ball. Good in one-on-one duels and that type of thing.
“Obviously he’s been bought as a centre-half but he has to be an option if another midfielder doesn’t come in.”
David May, who knows what it takes to play centre-back for Manchester United, was impressed by how seamlessly Martinez adapted to the side on Sunday.
May echoed goalkeeper Tom Heaton, who said after the game that he feels like the 24-year-old is already showing the personality required to be a United player.
“It was a doddle for him,” said May.
“Don’t get me wrong, it’ll be different opposition playing in the Premier League, but you can only play against who’s in front of you, or against you, and from what I saw of him, he was absolutely outstanding.”