Sunday, June 16News That Matters

Lisandro Martinez names Arsenal star as his toughest opponent

Manchester United centre-back Lisandro Martinez has named an Arsenal player as his toughest opponent since moving to the Premier League.

Argentine defender Martinez has been a revelation at Old Trafford since his £57 million move from Ajax last summer.

There were fears he could be exposed in the Premier League due to his height, with Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher even among those to question his signing.

But Martinez has put those concerns to bed, forming a good centre-back partnership with Raphael Varane before going to Qatar and winning the World Cup with Argentina.

Martinez has continued to impress since returning to United, helping Erik ten Hag’s side move to within five points of league leaders Arsenal, reach the EFL Cup final and progress in the Europa League after beating Barcelona.

The defender has come up against some of the best forwards this season, enjoying battles with the likes of Erling Haaland and Harry Kane.

But Martinez named Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus as his toughest opponent since arriving in England in his interview with the Daily Telegraph.

Brazil’s Jesus missed Arsenal’s 3-2 victory over Manchester United last month through injury but was part of the team that lost 3-1 at Old Trafford earlier in the campaign.

Martinez, meanwhile has revealed he is determined he is to help the Red Devils beat Newcastle in Sunday’s EFL Cup final and lift their first piece of silverware since 2017.

‘It means a lot to reach the final, for sure,’ Martinez said. ‘It’s my first cup final here, it’s not done yet, but we will prepare for the game, we are ready for this game, to fight, and it would be fantastic to get this trophy.

‘That’s why we work hard, we try hard. When you do the right things, these finals come, you know?

‘The mood is amazing here, everybody is positive, we have a lot of motivation as well. We are hungry, we want to win and that’s the mentality of the team.

‘The motivation is really high, you know? This club demands to win trophies, so the minimum is to win every final.

‘We’re looking forward [to it] for sure. Like I said, every game is really important, and we need that support from our fans.’


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