Football News

‘A proper defender’ — Bacary Sagna lauds “scary” Lisandro Martinez

By Ben Green

Published: 15:50, 28 September 2022

Former Manchester City and Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna has hailed Lisandro Martinez a “proper defender”.

The Argentine centre-back has made a strong start to his career in the Premier League, forming an impressive partnership with Raphael Varane in the heart of Erik ten Hag’s defence.

Many pundits and former players originally questioned whether Martinez would be able to handle himself in the hustle and bustle of Premier League football due to his fairly diminutive size of 5ft 9in for a traditional centre-back.

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However, Sagna believes Martinez has all the required attributes to thrive in the English top flight, combining brains and brawn to establish a domineering presence at the back for Man Utd.

“Lisandro Martinez at United, that guy is a real defender!’ Sagna told Lord Ping.

“He is serious – there is nothing flashy about his play. He does his job perfectly. Not only does he have great ability on the ball, but he relishes the duels – he engages attackers.

“As a defender, you have to be scary, strong. Some defenders forget they are defenders, they want to be skilful at the back.

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“He makes United solid and gives a platform for their attacking players to shine – that is the job of a proper defender.”

Martinez faces the unenvious prospect of trying to keep Erling Haaland under lock and key this weekend as the first Manchester derby of the 2022/23 season gets underway at the Etihad on Sunday.