Man Utd proven right as Jamie Carragher performs huge Martinez U-turn
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Jamie Carragher has finally responded to mass Manchester United backlash over his comments about Lisandro Martinez at the start of the season. He has performed a drastic U-turn on his doubt over the 25-year-old’s suitability in the Premier League, showering him with praise.
United opted for Martinez instead of Pau Torres last summer at Erik ten Hag’s request, beating Arsenal to the £57million signing.
It was a fee ridiculed at the time, with his 5ft 9in frame the central subject of scepticism among fans and pundits alike.
But Martinez has emphatically proven his doubters wrong at Old Trafford, helping Ten Hag start to revolutionise the Red Devils with his impressive aerial ability, tenacity on the ground, and pinpoint ball-playing skills.
After United’s 4-0 defeat at Brentford in August, Carragher said he was ‘convinced’ Martinez wouldn’t make it in the Premier League after the Bees targeted him at set-pieces.
But six months on, appearing on The Overlap Live Fan Debate, the Sky Sports pundit swallowed his pride and admitted to the Argentine’s excellence this season.
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He said: “I think he’s been brilliant. To be that small and play at centre-back, you’ve obviously got to be a special player, a good player.
“I didn’t think someone of that size could cope in the Premier League, and he has coped. I think he’s been brilliant. I think he’s been a big part of [United’s spirit].
“I think it was a game I saw a few weeks ago when he was actually a sub, and someone scored a late goal, and he was right involved. This was only two or three weeks ago.
“And obviously, we saw him in the World Cup, Argentinian. He’s got that fight. I think him and Casemino coming in… it feels more powerful, stronger. But I didn’t think a centre-back that size would be able to cope.
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“Now listen, I think if you can still get exposed, that has to happen at some stage. Every player has got weaknesses.
“But the best players hide them or make sure they don’t get exposed. And I think he’s a really good player, and he surprised me by how well he’s coped.”
Neville pushed Carragher’s buttons further by teasing him about performing a ‘moonwalk’ on his original comments.
And the ex-Liverpool defender bit back, adding: “I can admit when I’m wrong!”
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