Lisandro Martinez: Man Utd star's aerial stats compared to PL's tallest defenders

Lisandro Martinez in action for Ajax

Manchester United completed the signing of Lisandro Martinez on Wednesday afternoon.

The Argentine international has signed for the club in a £56.7m move from Ajax.

“It’s an honour to join this great football club. I’ve worked so hard to get to this moment and, now that I’m here, I’m going to push myself even further,” he told the club’s website.

“I’ve been lucky enough to be part of successful teams in my career and that’s what I want to continue at Manchester United. There will be a lot of work to get to that moment, but I firmly believe that, under this manager and coaches, and together with my new team-mates, we can do it.

“I want to thank Ajax and their fans for all the support they gave me. I had an unbelievable time there but feel the moment is right to test myself in another environment. Now I am at the perfect club to do this.”

A lot has been made of Martinez’s height.

Lisandro Martinez in action for Ajax vs Chelsea
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 05: Lisandro Martinez of AFC Ajax battles for possession with Jorginho of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Chelsea FC and AFC Ajax at Stamford Bridge on November 05, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Argentine stands at 5 foot 9 inches tall, which is small for a centre-back.

However, despite his height, he is very good in the air.

And, when you compare his aerial stats from the 2021/22 season to the stats compiled by the Premier League’s tallest defenders, it’s clear his height won’t be an issue.

Using data provided by Opta, Squawka have compared his stats to Jannik Vestergaard (6 foot 6), Dan Burn (6 foot 6), Kristoffer Ajer (6 foot 5) and Tyrone Mings’ (6 foot 5) in the 2021/22 season.

Image credit: Squawka

Lisandro Martinez

Duels Contested: 10.6

Aerial Duels Contested: 5.4

Aerial Duels Won: 3.8

Aerial Duel Success: 70.18%

Jannik Vestergaard

Duels Contested: 9.3

Aerial Duels Contested: 5.4

Aerial Duels Won: 3.5

Aerial Duel Success: 63.64%

Dan Burn

Duels Contested: 12.3

Aerial Duels Contested: 6.1

Aerial Duels Won: 4.2

Aerial Duel Success: 69.06%

Dan Burn in action for Newcastle
Soccer Football – Premier League – Newcastle United v Brighton & Hove Albion – St James’ Park, Newcastle, Britain – March 5, 2022 Newcastle United’s Dan Burn applauds fans after the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Kristoffer Ajer

Duels Contested: 7.8

Aerial Duels Contested: 3.7

Aerial Duels Won: 2.3

Aerial Duel Success: 61.25%

Tyrone Mings

Duels Contested: 6.4

Aerial Duels Contested: 3.7

Aerial Duels Won: 2.4

Aerial Duel Success: 63.85%

Martinez’s won 70.18% of his aerial duels in the 2021/22 season.

Despite being nearly a foot shorter than the tallest defenders in the Premier League, that is actually higher than Vestergaard (63.64%), Burn (69.06%), Ajer (61.25%) and Mings’ (63.85%) tallies last campaign.

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Many think that Martinez may struggle against the most physical defenders in England’s top tier. But the numbers suggest otherwise.

It’s also important to highlight that Martinez is the same height as legendary defenders Fabio Cannavaro and Franco Baresi. And they weren’t too bad, were they…

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