Arsenal and Man Utd have different plans for transfer target Lisandro Martinez


Premier League sides Arsenal and Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing Argentine center-back Lisandro Martinez from Dutch giants Ajax this summer

Lisandro Martinez is a transfer target for Arsenal and Manchester United
Lisandro Martinez is a transfer target for Arsenal and Manchester United

Arsenal want to sign Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez to provide cover at center-back and left-back, according to reports.

The Argentina international, 24, is a central defender by trade and is capable of filling in on the left or in midfield when needed. Manchester United are also believed to be interested in signing Martinez but new manager Erik ten Hag does not see him as a left-back.

Ten Hag usually deployed Martinez at center-back when he was manager of Ajax, leaving his position after four-and-a-half years last month to take the United job. The Newell’s Old Boys academy graduate is Ajax’s reigning Player of the Year, a measure of what he can offer to Arsenal or United.

Martinez has played 120 games for Ajax during the last three seasons – winning two Eredivisie titles, the Dutch Cup and Johan Cruyff Shield. He has seven senior caps for Argentina and was part of their victorious Copa America and Finalissima squads.

According to The Athletic, United and Arsenal are interested in signing Martinez. The Red Devils desperately need to fix their leaky defense after conceding 57 Premier League goals last season, more than relegated Burnley (53).

Yet Ten Hag is said to be concerned about Martinez’s size. Standing at 5’9 “, the Argentine is significantly smaller than most Premier League center-backs and many strikers. United skipper Harry Maguire, for example, is seven inches taller than Martinez.

Lisandro Martinez (left) was named Ajax’s Player of the Year last season after winning the Eredivisie title



Getty Images)

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It’s not unusual for a center-back to be a similar size to Martinez. Fabio Cannavaro, the most recent defender to win the Ballon d’Or, is the same height. Javier Mascherano also played at center-back for Barcelona – winning the Champions League twice – and stands at 5’9 “.

Arsenal, meanwhile, believe Martinez will give Mikel Arteta’s defense more depth. The Gunners have four senior center-backs at their disposal – Benjamin White, Rob Holding, Gabriel and William Saliba – with Pablo Mari expected to leave the club.

In terms of left-backs, Arsenal have Kieran Tierney and Nuno Tavares. Yet Tierney has struggled with injuries during the last three seasons – playing only 64 Premier League games – and there are big question marks over whether Arteta can trust Tavares defensively.

Arsenal have been busy in the transfer market, signing Brazilian forward Marquinhos from Sao Paulo and Portuguese midfielder Fabio Vieira from Porto. Ten Hag is yet to make his first signing at United and Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly concerned about the situation.

The veteran forward, 37, has just one year left on his contract and, according to Portuguese outlet Record, is willing to quit the club over their lack of transfer activity. Ronaldo is desperate for success after United failed to win a trophy last season.

The Red Devils finished sixth in the Premier League last season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick – recording their lowest points tally (58) since 1989-90 – and haven’t won a trophy since their Europa League final victory against Ajax five years ago .

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