Argentine centre-back Lisandro Martinez has expressed his delight after a wonderful debut season with Manchester United.
The 25-year-old signed for the Red Devils from Ajax for £57 million last summer, and he had a difficult start to the campaign with defeats against Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford.
Martinez was substituted midway through the 4-0 humbling against the Bees. Despite this, he retained the faith of manager Erik ten Hag, who started him in a crucial game versus Liverpool at Old Trafford.
The Argentine was one of the best players on the pitch on that day, and this cemented his starting spot for most of the season until his unfortunate metatarsal injury against Sevilla in April.
Martinez is expected to return in time for pre-season training and speaking to the club’s media, he has now expressed his happiness over an excellent debut campaign with the Red Devils.
He told Manutd.com: “I’m really happy to be here, it’s a big dream of mine.”
“[Never-say-die] is my mentality, I try to show in every ball, in every game, that is what I like. That is my game as well, to give everything that I have.”
The former Newell’s Old Boys graduate became a fan favourite after the Liverpool win, and Martinez believes the fierce support was a big reason behind the club’s excellent home record.
He added: “I really feel the love of the fans. I also feel a lot of love for them.”
“I really like this connection because it’s very important. Sometimes that support, that fire, wins games. You see it, the stadium is on fire. It’s part of that connection.”
United made good progress in Ten Hag’s first season in-charge. They finished third in the league standings and won the Carabao Cup – their first trophy in six years.
The manager now needs significant financial backing from the hierarchy such that he can add more quality in the squad and get them competing for the English crown.
So far, the club have not made a proposal for any player. Chelsea’s Mason Mount is the top target, but they are reluctant to meet the Blues’ £70 million asking price for him.
There is anticipation that the price tag could be lowered in the coming weeks as Mount has a year left on his contract. However, United can’t afford to indulge in lengthy negotiations.
Meanwhile, Martinez was simply brilliant during his debut season at United, and he will be aiming to replicate the showing next term as the club push for more silverware.
His centre-back partnership with Raphael Varane has been appreciated by fans, but United need to add more quality ahead of next season. Kim Min-jae is on the club’s radar.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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