Lisandro Martinez is not a player I expected the Gunners to be fighting to sign this summer, but the Argentinian has emerged as one of the most exciting possibilities in the window. Spotted in the Argentine capital, Ajax’s famous development and recruitment magic has washed off on the player.
He has been a versatile figure for the Dutch side, but Arsenal would continue to see him as a player with plenty of experience in the central defensive position. Many, including myself, have stipulated that he would be the potential left-sided equivalent to what Takehiro Tomiyasu offers.
A player with traits of a central defender performing in a disciplined full-back role. The Japanese international has shone with these responsibilities for the Gunners.
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That said, Papi Mento from weTalk Ajax spoke on The Gooner Talk regarding the player and pointed out his strength still very much lay in the middle. Highlighting that he fought for six months before establishing himself there in the team.
“He’s been here with us for three years. He started in the defensive midfield position and had some moments where he also played left-back. But his best position is left centre-back. He even got benched for six months before he got that position,” said Mento.
“Since he got that position, he’s been a starter for Ajax, and he hasn’t been on the bench since. Great player on and off the ball, I think you can see him as a midfielder turned defender, but a midfielder with exceptional defensive qualities and also very comfortable on the ball.
Questioned further about the possibility of him playing as a full-back, Mento was quick to strike this down in his view. Although he did provide some hope that perhaps it could be possible if the expectation was not for him to be like the current starting option.
“I wouldn’t use him as a full-back or a wing-back because he’s not that type of player. He could do it, but he would do it in his own way but don’t expect a Kieran Tierney type, so it’s better for him to be central, maybe defensive midfield or in the back line with Gabriel [Magalhaes] and Ben White,” he said.
I theorised that perhaps Arsenal might be looking at him to be the offset of Tomiyasu, however, from Mento’s comments, perhaps the versatility Mikel Arteta sees in him is more to cover Thomas Partey’s role. Arsenal watched on as Spurs claimed Yves Bissouma this summer.
Many supporters weren’t happy to see this happen. However, beyond elements outside of football, perhaps one of the reasons was the target of Martinez. With Partey already established as the starting deepest midfielder in the Arsenal three, Martinez can offer sound and more experienced options over the developing Albert Sambi Lokonga.
A deal still looks some way off. However, if Arsenal are successful in securing Martinez, they would have got themselves quite the player.
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Source by Football London