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With Casemiro suspended – Manchester United defender now says he is open to playing in midfield

With Casemiro suspended – Manchester United defender now says he is open to playing in midfield

During a recent interview with the Manchester Evening News ahead of the UEFA Europa League second leg match against Real Betis, Lisandro Martinez, a defender for Manchester United, acknowledged that he would be open to playing in midfield if his manager, Erik ten Hag, requested it.

Martinez, who earned the nickname “The Butcher,” was recruited by Ajax during the summer transfer window and has quickly become a popular figure among fans for his aggressive defensive style and adeptness at building play from the back.

His skills have elevated United’s performance level and could potentially allow Raphael Varane to return to his position with a similarly tough tackler by his side, much like the role Sergio Ramos played during Varane’s tenure at Real Madrid.

During the summer transfer window, there was competition from rival team Arsenal for Martinez’s signature.

However, the fact that he had previously worked with Erik ten Hag at Ajax ultimately worked in United’s favor, and Martinez chose Old Trafford as his next destination.

In addition to his impressive defending skills and ability to play out passes from the back, another reason why Ten Hag signed Martinez was his versatility across multiple positions.

Aside from playing as a centre-back, Martinez has also been deployed as a left-back and even as a holding midfielder at his previous clubs.

Although we have yet to see him in a United shirt in that role, Martinez has expressed confidence in his ability to play in midfield if called upon by the manager.

“We have many good midfielders. Like I have said in many interviews, I will play wherever the coach wants to use me.”

As a result of Casemiro’s suspension following a red card in the match against Southampton, Manchester United’s current midfield options are limited to Fred and Scott McTominay, pending Marcel Sabitzer’s return from injury.

The team is facing a shortage of midfielders, and the absence of Casemiro’s quality and composure is sure to be felt.

While Fred and McTominay are solid squad players, they do not offer the same level of defensive protection to the back four and are more suited to playing as a box-to-box or deep-lying playmaker rather than as holding midfielders.

Given the shortage of options in midfield, it is possible that Ten Hag could consider deploying Martinez as a holding midfielder to provide greater defensive security for the back four, particularly in a crucial match like the upcoming one against Newcastle United.

Martinez has expressed his willingness to play in that position if called upon by the manager, which could offer a potential solution to United’s midfield woes.

With Casemiro suspended – Manchester United defender now says he is open to playing in midfield

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