Lisandro Martinez's recent treatment of Alejandro Garnacho speaks volumes of his character
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Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez has joined club legend Cristiano Ronaldo in taking young starlet Alejandro Garnacho under his wing at Old Trafford.
Garnacho, who scored his first senior goal for the Red Devils in their 1-0 win over Real Sociedad in the Europa League on Thursday evening, has made no secret of his admiration for five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, with several social media posts calling the 37-year-old the greatest of all time.
Their close bond was first evidenced last season when Ronaldo handed Garnacho his hat-trick ball following a dramatic 3-2 victory over Norwich City.
Starting together for only the second time in midweek, it was fitting that United’s number seven provided the assist for Garnacho’s goal.
The 18-year-old then paid homage to Ronaldo by imitating his new sleeping celebration.
And now it seems Martinez is also getting in on the action, reportedly offering a helping hand in the development of his teenage compatriot.
According to local press, the central defender, who has recovered from a shaky start to life in the Premier League to become something of a fan-favourite under the moniker ‘The Butcher’, treats Garnacho like a younger sibling.
It is believed Martinez is particularly protective of his fellow Argentine and there is a feeling at the club that the former Ajax man is hothousing the exciting talent.
This month could also see the pair line-up alongside each other at the World Cup, where Argentina, captained by Lionel Messi, are among the favourites to lift the trophy in Qatar.
And the news of Martinez’s big brother-like status has further boosted the 24-year-old’s burgeoning reputation at Old Trafford.
🚨🚨| Sources say Lisandro Martínez treats Alejandro Garnacho akin to a younger brother and is particularly protective of his compatriot. Martinez arrived with the requisite mentality for a #mufc player and there is a feeling he is hothousing Garnacho. [@samuelluckhurst]— centredevils. (@centredevils) November 6, 2022
“As if I couldn’t like Martinez even better,” one fan posted on Twitter.
“I love that butcher,” added another.
While a third wrote: “How is Martinez only 24? He has captain material written all over him.”
Under Martinez’s guidance, as well as the strict discipline enforced by manager Erik Ten Hag, insiders say there has been a real change in attitude from Garnacho.
After punctuality issues prevented him from featuring in any of United’s pre-season games during their tour of Thailand and Australia, he is now among the first to arrive for training at the club’s Carrington training complex.
He also opted to return early from his three-week holiday after representing Argentina at the Under-20s Toulon Tournament in June in a bid to impress Ten Hag.
Next up for United is a trip to Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.