Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Lisandro Martinez from Ajax. It is expected that £47 million secured the services of the Argentinian defender who will sign a contract until the summer of 2027 with the option of a further year to be added.
Martinez, 24, started out playing youth football for Club Urquiza, Club Libertad and Newell’s Old Boys in his native Argentina, making his debut for the latter in the 2016/17 season, making just one appearance for the club. He was loaned and then transferred permanently to Defensa y Justicia.
The Argentinian defender has two seasons at the club making 58 appearances, scoring three goals and five assists in him time there. He caught the eye of Ajax and was signed during the summer that Matthijs de Ligt left for Juventus. It was Ajax where he won his first club honours.
Whilst playing for Ajax, Martinez made a total of 118 appearances, scoring six goals and six assists, winning two Eredivisie titles, one KNVB Cup and one Johan Cruyff Shield. Martinez, speaking to the official Manchester United website about signing for the Old Trafford club, said:
“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. 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.”
During his time in Amsterdam, Martinez playing under the management of Erik ten Hag, seemingly wanting to reunite with the manager this summer and play in the Premier League. Arsenal seemed a plausible destination before United’s interest was known.
Manchester United football director, John Murtough spoke about the Argentinian signing for the club, stating that he is an outstanding player who will bring further quality and experience to Erik ten Hag’s squad. The defender should make his debut in one of the final two pre-season matches which will be played this weekend. Murtough said:
“Lisandro is an outstanding player who will bring further quality and experience to Erik [Ten Hag]’s squad. We are delighted that he has chosen to join Manchester United and we are looking forward to seeing him develop further and help the team achieve the success we are aiming for.”
Martinez has been capped seven times for Argentina and has won Copa América and the CONMEBOL–UEFA Cup of Champions with his country. He is primarily a central defender but can play at left-back and defensive midfield known for his composure and range of passing.
Written by John Walker