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Graeme Souness' comments about Lisandro Martinez after Southampton win make no sense

Jack Kenmare

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Graeme Souness' comments about Lisandro Martinez after Southampton win make no sense

Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez may have scooped his second consecutive Man of the Match award against Southampton, but Graeme Souness remains unconvinced.

The 24-year-old Argentine, who joined United from Ajax this summer for a reported £56.7 million, won all of his aerial duels against the Saints on Saturday – more than any other player on the pitch.

He also recorded 61 touches, 48 passes and seven clearances as Erik ten Hag's side kept a clean sheet at St Mary's.

Since his arrival, Martinez' 5ft 9' frame has continued to raise eyebrows. Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher said after their win against Liverpool that the centre-back's height will be 'a problem' for United in the coming months.

And on Monday afternoon, another former Liverpool player – Graeme Souness – thinks Martinez will eventually be found out.

“I was watching the game at the weekend and they 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,” Souness said.

“He’s vertically challenged and I was racking my mind to come up with anyone who has played in the Premier League, or indeed the first division, that size and been a success. I think he will get sorely tested and be found out going forward."

A member of the talkSPORT team then brought up the idea of Martinez coming up against the likes of Erling Haaland, Darwin Nunez and Aleksandar Mitrovic

“Oh, deary me, it’ll be a mismatch," Souness said. “He’s not particularly special at anything. I would say he’s feisty and aggressive.

“The other thing I don’t like about him: he goes to ground too readily. That is not a good sign for a defender. The clever ones stay on their feet and they’re reading it, they’re anticipating it. If you’re lunging all the time it means you’re not reading it.

“I come back to his size, he will get found out in the Premier League. I can’t tell you anyone else that size who’s been a success in our game. Ultimately you get found out.

“If I’m [Virgil] van Dijk, I’m going to stand next to him. People will target him. Che Adams was bringing it down on his chest.”

Here's the full video of Souness speaking about Lisandro Martinez following United's recent win at St Mary's. Do you agree?

This isn't the first time Souness has laid into Martinez since his summer arrival.

Following the club's embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Brentford earlier this month, the former Liverpool man didn't hold back.

"I mean, 5ft 9in Lisandro Martinez at centre back? Ivan Toney must have looked at him in the warm-up and thought, 'I’m gonna have a good day today'. And he did," Souness said in his Daily Mail column.

"I fear Martinez will struggle in the Premier League because of his size. But he’s Ten Hag’s big signing from Ajax and he won’t abandon him.

"I have read that Martinez can also play as a holding midfield player, and he may end up there, especially as United are screaming out for quality in that area. At least he looks combative."

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

Souness isn't the only former player to raise concerns over Martinez's physicality.

Despite putting in a fine display against Southampton, talkSPORT guest Gabriel Agbonlahor raised his concerns after the full-time whistle.

“When the ball was on the floor and the ball was played in, he did okay,” Agbonlahor said.

“But whenever the ball was played in the air, Che Adams had the better of him. Just physically he kept on guessing to tried and get in front and Che Adams would turn him.

“But he did win his fair share of headers today and it’s a clean sheet, it’s hard to judge him but I feel when there’s physical strikers starting to play on him.”

The former Aston Villa forward added: “I’m not judging off [Roberto] Firmino who kept dropping off on Monday night. I’m judging off proper strikers who back into him and try to bully him and today Che Adams did a decent job.

“There were moments when Che Adams got the ball into his body and he just overpowered him so I’m looking at him and thinking when he plays against Nunez, Haaland, these sort of physical strikers, I think he will struggle.

“He’s gonna need help from Varane or they’re gonna end up playing three at the back and bring Maguire in.

“But you know, clean sheet, you can’t complain.”

Thoughts on Souness' comments about Martinez?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: TalkSPORT/Alamy

Topics: Lisandro Martinez, Graeme Souness, Manchester United, Southampton, Premier League

Jack Kenmare
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