As we got to writing this, we just like you have been swamped with news during this transfer window. Looks like the Premier League clubs are now recovering from their COVID slumber and they’re back with a bang. Lisandro Martinez is one of those rumors with both Arsenal and Manchester United heavily interested in recruiting the Ajax defender, with the latter coming out on top with around €57.37m deal agreed. But like everyone, we’re here to answer the two most important questions fans have
- What kind of player is he?
- Can he Play in the Premier League?
So let’s strap in and give you the low down on the kind of player Lisandro Martinez is and what you can expect from him should the argentine make the move to the English Premier League (Manchester United fans may want to read this).
How Much Did Ajax pay for Lisandro Martinez?
Ajax paid Argentine side Defensa y Justicia €7m for Lisandro Martinez, while the Argentine club had 50% of his rights while Newell’s Old Boys had the other 50%. Defensa y Justicia had purchased 50% of Martinez’s rights back in 2018 so Ajax had to negotiate with both clubs to get their man.
Style Of Play:
Putting it in layman’s terms, Lisandro Martinez is probably the best ball-playing CB in the Eredivisie. He has some of the most ridiculous passing numbers that we’ve seen and that makes him a weapon for Ajax offensively as well. Because they are a ball-dominant side, Lisandro Martinez gets the chance to set the play for Ajax and provides those precise passes into forwards that Ajax thrives on. Here is a look below courtesy of Latte Firm
Those that can’t figure out the context of the statistical radar, we got you!
- Despite being 5’9, the Argentine is DOMINANT in the air
- His passing contributes to a lot of attacking moves for Ajax
- He averages really high for dribbles showing his comfort on the ball
- He’s a fantastic passer of the ball, with high-value carries, passes & efficiency
Here we can see how much this guy loves the duel. He can handle himself fairly well in the duels, as seen by his relatively high numbers in terms of tackles and interceptions.
A lot of his family and his peers have stated that he ‘doesn’t know the word pain‘ and going by how he loves the challenge, that isn’t far off. You can say that he ‘has that dawg in him’ (we’ll stop).
So now we hope you have a good idea of what kind of player he is, let’s take a look at his passing in a more detailed manner
Here we can see that he always looks to pass forward and sets the tempo at the same time. he has a really nice balance between both as you’ll rarely see his passing stats drop off too much. One thing to note is he’s incredibly one-footed, opting to use his stronger left the majority of the time when passing out which may make him easier to press out wide.
Above Timber manages to put Martinez in an uncomfortable situation with two opposition players ready to press, fully intent on countering but he manages to dribble his way brilliantly out of pressure and sets Ajax on their way below. Now we look at scenarios where he’s being put into 1v1 situations. Martinez is fantastic out wide and defends his side very well
He does so by forcing the attacker to the byline and attacking his side aggressively to get his team back into shape. He is fully capable of defending in a 3-at-the-back system along with a back 4. He shines at CB despite his stature, and he makes up for it with his aggression on the field. Despite fewer games, we believe that he can easily assimilate at LB fairly easily due to Ten Hagg playing him in a back 3.
Martinez’s role as a LB in the Premier League depends on the type of fullback he’ll be playing in his team. He is more comfortable as an inverted fullback, that can easily drop into midfield when playing the ball. Due to his relative quickness, Martinez is a fantastic counter-stopper, getting across the last line to stop getaway forwards very quickly. This makes him an attractive proposition for Premier League clubs, especially if he’s to play for Arsenal as they wouldn’t be using him as a CB
Can He Handle the Premier League?
Due to the demands of the Premier League, Martinez may struggle to play against some of the fast-paced attackers that the Premier League has at CB. The position requires significant strength, height, and aggression which the young defender is currently developing. It would be a difficult adaptation period and he’d end up being targetted by rival sides.