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22nd Aug 2022

Wayne Rooney explains how Man United can get the best out of Lisandro Martínez

Callum Boyle

Martínez has struggled with life at Man United so far

Former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has explained how he feels the club can get the best out of defender Lisandro Martínez.

The summer signing has struggled for form since his move from Ajax and was substituted at half-time in United’s 4-0 defeat away to Brentford.

Reports have suggested that Erik ten Hag is set to persist with the defender and will partner Raphael Varane with him for their must-win fixture against Liverpool on Monday night.

Despite the early criticism, Rooney believes he has what it takes to succeed at Old Trafford. “I think Martínez has the potential to be a success in the Premier League,” he wrote in The Times.

“He’s a good footballer, but what he needs is for his team to be dominating possession and playing high up the pitch, so he can use his reading of the game and footballing skills.”

Rooney also addressed the criticism around Martínez’s height. The 24-year-old is one of the league’s shortest players at 5’9, but Rooney said nobody would be making the same observation if he played for Manchester City.

Man United

“If you put Martínez in the Manchester City team, there wouldn’t be any questions about him. Fernandinho thrived as a centre back for City at times and Javier Mascherano was brilliant there for Barcelona, and neither is very tall,” he added.

“Gary Neville did well as a ‘small’ centre back for a period of his career and when I played, I always fancied I could do a great job there.

“It’s about being in a team with the right style of play and the quicker Ten Hag can impose his structure and style, the easier for Martínez it will become.”

United are looking to pick up their first points of the season against arch rivals Liverpool as supporters prepare to protest against the club’s ownership before kick-off.

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