Manchester United fans have slammed Graeme Souness for his comments about Lisandro Martinez following Saturday’s 1-0 win over Southampton.
Martinez, a £57 million summer signing from Ajax, was widely praised for his defensive performance at St Mary’s as United kept their first clean sheet of the season.
However, Martinez hasn’t managed to convince everyone. Speaking on talkSPORT on Monday, Souness believes it’s a matter of time before United’s new No. 6, who was subbed at half-time in the 4-0 defeat to Brentford earlier this month, is found out.
What did Graeme Souness say about Lisandro Martinez?
“I was watching the game at the weekend and they were putting Che Adams up against him, and the goalkeeper and other members of the Southampton team were loading it down that left-hand side, they were trying to stick it on his head,” the Liverpool legend and former Premier League manager said.
“He’s vertically challenged and I was racking my mind to come up with anyone who has played in the Premier League, or indeed the First Division, that size and been a success.
“I think he will get sorely tested and be found out going forward.”
On the prospect of Martinez going head-to-head against the likes of Erling Haaland, Darwin Nunez and Aleksandar Mitrovic, Souness said: “Oh, deary me, it’ll be a mismatch.”
The Scot added: “He’s not particularly special at anything. I would say he’s feisty and aggressive.
“The other thing I don’t like about him: he goes to ground too readily. That is not a good sign for a defender. The clever ones stay on their feet and they’re reading it, they’re anticipating it. If you’re lunging all the time it means you’re not reading it.
“I come back to his size, he will get found out in the Premier League. I can’t tell you anyone else that size who’s been a success in our game. Ultimately you get found out.
“If I’m [Virgil] van Dijk, I’m going to stand next to him.
“People will target him. Che Adams was bringing it down on his chest.”
Here’s the clip:
👎 “I think Martinez will be sorely tested and be found out in the PL.”— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) August 29, 2022
❌ “He’s not special at anything!”
🤦♂️ “Martinez goes to ground too readily, the clever defenders stay on their feet.”
Graeme Souness says #MUFC’s “vertically challenged” Martinez will fail in the PL. pic.twitter.com/jSjkWCmQJ2
Unsurprisingly, Souness’s comments have gone down like a lead balloon with United supporters on social media:
Gabby Agbonlahor agrees with Souness
However, former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor is in agreement with his new talkSPORT colleague, tweeting: “Interesting! Just what I said! I rest my case!!!!”
“When the ball was on the floor or when it was played in, he did okay today,” Agbonlahor has said earlier on talkSPORT, per the Daily Star. “But, whenever the ball was played in the air today, Che Adams had the better of him.
“Just physically, he kept on guessing to try and get in front and Che Adams would turn him, but he did win his fair share of headers today. And, it’s a clean sheet so it is hard to judge him.”
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