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Jaap Stam exclusive: Man Utd legend addresses concern over Lisandro Martinez's height

Daniel Marland

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Jaap Stam exclusive: Man Utd legend addresses concern over Lisandro Martinez's height

Jaap Stam knew the media would discuss Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez's height following his Premier League arrival.

The Argentina international joined United from Ajax in a £56.7 million transfer during the summer after previously working under Erik ten Hag in Amsterdam.

Martinez had a tricky beginning to life in England, starting with defeats to Brighton and Brentford, before bouncing back and helping United to four wins on the bounce.

One criticism levelled against the 24-year-old is his height, standing at just five foot nine. It means he's significantly shorter than some of the English top-flight's most physical forwards, including Erling Haaland, Ivan Toney and Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Martinez has started every Premier League game this season. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Martinez has started every Premier League game this season. (Image Credit: Alamy)

Stam is a United legend and knows what it takes to make the grade at Old Trafford. He knew Martinez had it in him after years of watching him in the Eredivise.

Speaking to SPORTbible courtesy of bet365, the Netherlands icon said: "He's a good player. I knew as soon as he arrived people in the UK would talk about his height.

"That can be an issue as a centre-back, not being so tall, but he's shown his quality over here in the Netherlands and in the Champions League.

"As a player he's very comfortable on the ball, you can see he's trying to find these passes in-between lines."

Martinez started alongside captain Harry Maguire in his first two games, but has partnered Raphael Varane in every other game since.

Martinez in action against Liverpool. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Martinez in action against Liverpool. (Image Credit: Alamy)

Stam thinks that's been a key part of his upturn in performances in recent weeks.

He continued: "Defensively, he's very aggressive, sometimes he needs to be a little bit more aware of his opposition, not get caught or be too aggressive but that's the thing you learn in the Premier League and what you learn playing against the big teams, better players than what he was used to in Holland and that's what he's picking up.

"You can see his improvements already and how he's altered his approach.

"He's working well with Varane and [Tyrell] Malacia on his left side.

"Fans like his determination, and his quality that we've seen in Holland."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Lisandro Martinez, Premier League

Daniel Marland
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