Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez has been nicknamed “the butcher” in the club’s training sessions due to his combative style of physical challenges.
Martinez joined United from Ajax over the summer in a deal worth £55million and has instantly established himself as a fans favourite at Old Trafford. The Argentine has starred in the heart of United’s defence initially alongside Raphael Varane and subsequently Victor Lindelof.
The 24-year-old earned the club’s Player of the Month award for August and is one of the first names on Erik ten Hag’s team sheet. Martinez has started in all 14 Premier League games for United to date and featured in each of the club’s 21 games across all competitions.
Martinez is adored by United fans, who have revived their “Argentina! Argentina!” chant for the versatile defender. His controlled aggression is precisely what is desired not only by supporters, but from the management and his teammates too.
The love for the Argentine inside United’s dressing room is evident too, as has been outlined by ESPN. Shouts of “the butcher” are regularly heard during training sessions when Martinez makes one of his typically crunching challenges. That is a nod to his “butcher of Amsterdam” nickname picked up while playing at Ajax.
Yet Martinez’s impact in the United dressing room is much more profound, and he is said to be greatly admired by all quarters of the squad. One of the more interesting approaches of the defender is to regularly eat with different groups of players to ensure that cliques don’t evolve, and that no player feels isolated.
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Despite his intimidating nickname, the former Ajax star is regarded as being incredibly polite and kind away from the pitch – at odds with his in-game personality. He is said to have been greatly influential in his compatriot Alejandro Garnacho’s increasing maturity after the teenager failed to turn up on time to team meetings over the summer.
Martinez is now fully focused on the Argentine international team during this World Cup. After surprisingly being overlooked for his nation’s tournament opener against Saudi Arabia – resulting in a shock 2-1 defeat – he was restored to the heart of the defence, partnering Nicolas Otamendi, for the win over Mexico.