Manchester United: Pundit gives verdict on "not particularly special" Lisandro Martinez
After a tough start, the defender has won successive Man of the Match awards – but is still attracting criticism over his height
Manchester United (opens in new tab) centre-back Lisandro Martinez will be "found out" in the Premier League, according to Graeme Souness.
The Liverpool (opens in new tab) legend's remarks come despite Martinez being voted Man of the Match in each of United's last two games: last Monday's 2-1 home win over the Reds, and Saturday's 1-0 victory at Southampton (opens in new tab).
From the moment he arrived at Old Trafford from Ajax (opens in new tab), doubts were raised over whether the Argentine, who stands at 5'9" tall, was too short to succeed in the English top flight.
And his two standout performances have failed to convince Souness otherwise. Speaking on talkSPORT, the Scot said:
"I was watching the game at the weekend. They [Southampton] were putting Che Adams up against him and the goalkeeper and other members of the Southampton team were loading it down that left-hand side, they were trying to stick it on his head.
"He's vertically challenged and I was racking my mind to come up with anyone who's played in the Premier League, or indeed the [old] First Division, that size who has been a success. I think he will be sorely tested and will be found out going forward."
👎 “I think Martinez will be sorely tested and be found out in the PL.”❌ “He’s not special at anything!”🤦♂️ “Martinez goes to ground too readily, the clever defenders stay on their feet.”Graeme Souness says #MUFC’s “vertically challenged” Martinez will fail in the PL. pic.twitter.com/jSjkWCmQJ2August 29, 2022
Martinez isn't the only one of United's summer signings to he heavily criticised by the former Liverpool and Scotland captain.
After Casemiro completed his big-money move from Real Madrid (opens in new tab), Souness insisted that the midfielder was "not a great player" (opens in new tab).
And even longer-serving United players haven't been safe from the 69-year-old's scathing comments.
Prior to United's season-kickstarting triumph a week ago, Souness slammed what he called "bottlejobs" within the squad. He said (opens in new tab):
"You've got Man United players who are looking for an excuse right now. You've got some people who you would not want to be in the trenches more.
"It will only give Liverpool a lift and be an excuse to those weak players that play for Man United, who have not stood up, who have been bottlejobs. That's last [season] and they've shown signs of it this [season]."
On the evidence of United's last two outings, that particular tirade has backfired badly – not that we expect that to deter one of the most outspoken pundits in the business.
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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...