Former Manchester United centre-back Jaap Stam has revealed the main area where he believes new boy Lisandro Martinez needs to improve his game.
Martinez moved to Old Trafford in a £49million move from Dutch giants Ajax over the summer, reuniting with his old boss Erik ten Hag in the process.
The 24-year-old struggled in his opening two games for the club. However, he’s impressed since as United have won four Premier League games in a row.
That progress was halted on Thursday night as a much-changed Red Devils side lost in Europe on Thursday night.
Ten Hag’s men went down 1-0 at home to Real Sociedad, with Martinez replacing Diogo Dalot at half-time.
And while concerns remain over Martinez‘s height, Stam is impressed with certain areas of his game.
Speaking to Bet365, the Dutchman said: “He’s a good player. I knew as soon as he arrived people in the UK would talk about his height. That can be an issue as a centre-back, not being so tall, but he’s shown his quality over here in the National team and in the Champions League.
“As a player he’s very comfortable on the ball. You can see he’s trying to find these passes in between lines.”
Martinez played a major role in Ten Hag’s Ajax side that won three Dutch titles in a row.
United new boy Martinez still learning
And despite his difficult start to life at United, Stam believes Martinez is now starting to show his qualities. However, there are elements of his game that the Argentine needs to improve on.
Stam added: “Defensively, he’s very aggressive, sometimes he needs to be a little bit more aware of his opposition, not get caught or be too aggressive. But that’s the thing you learn in the Premier League. And what you learn playing against the big teams, better players than what he was used to in Holland and that’s what he’s picking up.”
Martinez has so far been at his best alongside France star Raphael Varane, with Harry Maguire relegated to the bench.
That trend is expected to continue when the Premier League gets underway again.
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