Lisandro Martinez struggled in his second Premier League game for Manchester United.
The Red Devils were on the receiving end of a painful 4-0 drubbing away to Brentford, having already lost to Brighton in their Premier League opener.
Two early goals following mistakes from David de Gea had United shell-shocked and their heads immediately dropped, which Brentford capitalised on tremendously.
Martinez’s performance was one of many talking points after the game, and not in a positive light.
The Argentine defender signed for United in a deal that could be worth up to £57 million this summer, but questions were raised over his suitability for the Premier League due to his height.
Martinez stands at 1.75 metres tall, which equates to five foot nine. For a centre-back, it’s a rather small height, especially in the English top flight where it is believed defenders need to be physical beasts.
United signed Martinez for his aggression, but also for his excellent vision and versatility. The 24-year-old has impressed in parts when being able to display his passing range, and it is clear to see what Erik ten Hag was thinking by signing him.
Caicedo next in! (Football Terrace)
However, he has come under fire for his severe lack of height, which has now been targeted by Brighton and Brentford, and resulted in Brentford’s third goal over the weekend.
During a corner when United were already 2-0 down, Martinez was absolutely dominated in the box by Ben Mee as the ball made its way to the back post, being completely outjumped and falling to the floor as Mee headed in for 3-0.
It was that moment which defined the Argentine’s game in the eyes of many, with him being hooked at half-time to make matters appear worse.
But footage has since emerged on Twitter of Martinez’ highlights from the nightmarish afternoon at Brentford, specifically every time Brentford try to attack United’s left channel to target him. And it makes for surprising viewing, that doesn’t back up the narrative that he was actually dominated.
Be sure to check it out below.
WATCH: Martinez’s aerial highlights vs Brentford
Every conceivable attempt to target United's left hand side in the air in buildup against Brentford pic.twitter.com/l6ojzAMdnH— My video editing is bad but your takes are worse (@JamesWe60064689) August 16, 2022
Every time Lisandro Martinez contested anything resembling an aerial duel against Brentford pic.twitter.com/VeCQDk2LpT— My video editing is bad but your takes are worse (@JamesWe60064689) August 16, 2022
Pretty surprising, right? For all the talk about how Martinez got bullied to no end against Brentford, his performance aside from the goal was actually more than competent.
Of course, when you get hooked at half-time after conceding four goals, it’s hard to save too much face – ultimately, he was poor. But not all the criticism should be pointed to him, when he was surrounded by three equally poor defenders and backed up by shocking goalkeeping.
If it wasn’t for the third goal that was conceded at the corner, we’d likely be viewing his performance in an entirely different light. Let’s check out what fans thought about his display.
Certainly an interesting angle to emerge from a dismal afternoon for United.
Ten Hag has put a lot of trust in Martinez and has to find a way to make it work for him at United. The talent is clearly there and he can handle himself, but teams will continue to bombard their left-hand side in the hope of picking up second balls and getting fortunate.
The Red Devils face Liverpool next and run the risk of taking zero points from any of their first three games this season.