Is Lisandro Martinez the answer to Man Utd's midfield crisis? The 'Butcher' addresses potential positional change
- Casemiro serving domestic ban
- Eriksen & Van de Beek injured
- Argentine defender happy to step up
WHAT HAPPENED? The Argentina international, who is now a World Cup winner, was acquired by the Red Devils in the summer of 2022 to occupy a spot at the heart of their defence. Affectionately known as ‘The Butcher’, the combative South American has quickly become a cult hero at Old Trafford. He has, however, previously operated under Erik ten Hag as a makeshift holding midfielder at Ajax and may be asked to fill that role again over the coming weeks as United seek to counter the loss of Casemiro to a four-match ban and long-term injuries to the likes of Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Martinez has said of being asked to step out of a centre-half berth alongside Raphael Varane: “We have many good midfielders and like I have always said in many interviews, I will play wherever the coach wants to use me. I will always be available.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Martinez has already helped United to bring their six-year wait for major silverware to a close in 2022-23, with a Carabao Cup triumph taken in, but he is eager to secure even more medals as the Red Devils look to finish the job against Real Betis in the last-16 of the Europa League. He added: “For sure, we have really good players. We are Manchester United and Manchester United demand to win every trophy, so we have to work hard, like we are doing now. For sure, we have to go game by game, we have to believe and we have to fight for every title.”
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WHAT NEXT? United will take a 4-1 aggregate lead into the second leg of their continental clash with Betis, with Ten Hag’s side looking for another boost to morale following recent struggles for goals and points in the Premier League.