Argentine centre-back Lisandro Martinez has completed his transfer to Manchester United. The 24-year-old joins from Ajax Amsterdam to re-unite with old boss Erik Ten Hag. As the Red Devils continue their overhaul after their dismal 2021/22, the cultured left-footer is a smart acquisition. Well grooved in Ten Hag’s methods, his signing adds steel to a fragile United backline. At Ajax, he was part of a stylish side that swept all comers in the Eredivisie while teasing a run to the deep end of the Champions League.

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Martinez began his career at Argentina’s famed Newells Old Boys, debuting for the club in the 2016/17 season. It did not quite work out at the Rosario-based club. Loaned out to fellow Primera club Defensa y Justicia, he began to come to grips with professional football. He scored his first senior goal against Temperley. Defensa purchased 50% of his rights in June 2018.

The Gualeguay-born defender sealed a move to Ajax in the summer of 2019. The Dutch side coughed up €7 million for the transfer. Martinez made his debut in the Johan Cruyff Shield against PSV Eindhoven. Making an almost immediate impact, he was awarded the man of the match in his second league outing against FC Emmen. He opened his Ajax account against FC Groningen, scoring the opener in a 2-0 win. The season would, however, come to a premature end because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hotly contested between Ajax and AZ Alkmaar, the latter was an unfortunate victim of the pandemic, having to forego a title race when tied with Ajax at the top.

Martinez played a starring role in Ajax’s 2020/21 Eredivisie triumph. With Ten Hag putting together a deliciously exciting team, his final season at Ajax was bittersweet. While the Amsterdammers edged rivals PSV in the league, the disappointment of their Champions League round-of-16 exit still rankles. Having breezed past the group stage, Benfica rode their luck to knock them out.

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Martinez has seven senior international caps, making his debut in March 2019 defeat to Venezuela. He made one appearance in Argentina’s triumphant Copa America 2021. He was also an unused substitute in Argentina’s Finalissima win against Italy. Known for his composure and passing range, the ex-Ajax man will hope to make his presence felt in United’s red.