Lisandro Martinez already indispensable to Man Utd says Paul Scholes

  • Manchester United made it four straight wins as they beat Arsenal 3-1 on Sunday
  • Lisandro Martinez put in another commanding performance in their defense
  • £55m summer signing from Ajax has quickly made an impact at Old Trafford
  • But he was forced off with an injury late in Sunday’s win over the Gunners
  • Legend Paul Scholes is concerned United will be weaker if he misses games

Paul Scholes believes Lisandro Martinez is already indispensable to Manchester United and hopes he won’t be sidelined for too long after going off injured against Arsenal.

The £55 million summer signing from Ajax has quickly dispelled worries about his lack of height with a series of commanding displays alongside Raphael Varane in United’s back line.

Martinez was again highly effective during United’s 3-1 win over the Gunners on Sunday afternoon but he was forced off with 10 minutes remaining after appearing to hurt his groin clearing the ball.

Lisandro Martinez celebrates Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Arsenal on Sunday afternoon
The Argentine, a £55 million summer signing from Ajax, has made a positive start at United

United legend Scholes said: ‘At United it’s about the determination more than anything. You know the talent is there but it’s about getting up to people, stopping people, getting up to people, being solid at the back.

‘Having that solid back four now is helping them. Martinez coming out of that might be a worry going forward.’

Paul Scholes, seen chatting to United boss Erik ten Hag, believes Martinez is already indispensable to the team

Premier League leaders Arsenal played well at Old Trafford but suffered their first loss of the campaign.

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Scholes added: ‘I go back to possession where Mikel Arteta’s saying he’s in control of the game with his interview there. It doesn’t matter.

‘There are so many teams in these big games where they come away from Old Trafford a lot of times in big games wondering how we haven’t won, we’ve played great.’

Martinez was replaced late on at Old Trafford by captain Harry Maguire, who was booked almost instantly for bringing down Gabriel Jesus.

But he helped United hold on to their 3-1 lead handed to them by debutant Antony and a double from Marcus Rashford after Bukayo Saka had equalized for Arsenal.

United begin their UEFA Europa League group campaign against Real Sociedad on Thursday before a trip to Crystal Palace next Sunday as they aim to extend their winning run.

Argentina international Martinez, 24, had worked with manager Erik ten Hag at Ajax and was signed to bolster a fragile United back line.

He tweeted after Sunday’s win: ‘Vamos equipo!!! Great winning mentality & fighting spirit to get another big win today. Well done everyone! Massive shout-out to our fans!!!’

Several United players, including Bruno Fernandes, Tyrell Malacia, Anthony Elanga and Alejandro Garnacho left comments underneath in appreciation of his display.

Several United players responded with comments like ‘animal’, ‘vamos’ and ‘brother’
Martinez throws his shirt into the crowd after playing a big part in United’s latest victory

Martinez has started all six of United’s Premier League games this season.

He was hooked for Varane with United 4-0 down to Brentford last month but, unlike Maguire, retained his place and has impressed in the matches since.

United responded to that debacle with wins over Liverpool, Southampton, Leicester City and Arsenal.

Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness commented on the impact of Martinez over the weekend as well, reflecting on United’s 2-1 win over Liverpool last month and the job he did on Mohamed Salah.

‘I’m looking at Salah for Liverpool against Man United and in the first five minutes Martinez goes right through him,’ Souness said.

‘The rest of the game, Mo Salah looked for Martinez and looked for where he was.

Martinez roughed up Mohamed Salah as United beat Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford last month

I’ve not seen the same Mo Salah since. I just hope – and he’s signed the big contract he wanted, but at this level if you knock off half a per cent or one per cent then you are not the same player.

‘I hope this is not him getting semi into his armchair because he has signed a big contract.

‘I’m saying that as a Liverpool supporter, hopefully to make him angry and prove me wrong.’


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