The Argentinian defender, Lisandro Martinez, who plays for Manchester United, underwent a successful surgery to fix a broken metatarsal that he suffered during the Europa League quarter-final first-leg draw with Sevilla. This news is a huge setback for the Red Devils, as Martinez has been one of their most consistent performers, according to former United defender, Paul Parker. We interviewed Parker to discuss the significance of Martinez to Erik ten Hag’s team.
“Martinez’s consistency is incredible” claims Parker
Now that Martinez is out for the remainder of the season, Paul Parker believes that fans and the media will truly comprehend how crucial Lisandro Martinez was to the Manchester United side. With a congested fixture list and a mounting number of injuries, the loss of Martinez couldn’t have come at a worse time. Parker claims that Martinez hasn’t been receiving enough credit for his performances due to being a defender and not being English.
“I don’t think Lisandro Martinez was getting enough credit for his performances. First of all because he is a defender and secondly because he isn’t English.”
“He is one of Man United’s three best players every single game. His level of consistency is incredible. I can’t think of many players that have had the same level of consistency since Denis Irwin.”
“But I’m sure that he is getting credit by the Man United fans, which is what should mean something to him.”
Would playing for Liverpool change people’s perception of Martinez?
In addition, Parker argues that Martinez’s choice of club is another critical factor in the defender’s lack of recognition from the media. He suggests that if Martinez had been playing for Liverpool instead of Manchester United, he would have received far more acclaim than he has. Parker even takes the opportunity to criticise the defending of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has been playing in midfield during recent matches.
“But there is another reason why he is not getting enough credit… He is playing for the wrong team.”
“If he was doing what he is doing for Liverpool, the media would have gone absolutely mad. But they are not doing that because he plays for Manchester United.”
“I have heard for years now that Allison is the best goalkeeper in the world… Trent Alexander-Arnold is the best fullback in the world… Trent is overrated and he can’t defend. A lot of people have spoken about him being a future midfielder but he wouldn’t be able to play as a midfielder for Liverpool. They need better players than him.”
Luke Shaw winning battle with rival Tyrell Malacia for now suggests Parker
During the summer, Erik ten Hag made several signings to try and re-energise the United squad, including Dutch international Tyrell Malacia as competition for the number one left-back position, currently held by Luke Shaw. It seems the strategy worked, as Shaw has had one of his best seasons at United to date. Parker acknowledges that he has been critical of Shaw in the past, but he believes that the England international deserves all the praise he has received this season.
“Tyrell Malacia started off really well at Man United and had a bit of a downfall, maybe because he has been lacking a bit of confidence.”
“I have previously criticised Luke Shaw, which was deserved because he is acting wrong when things aren’t going his way but we can’t take away from him that he has performed really well for Man United this season.”
“Malacia couldn’t argue over being on the bench because Luke Shaw was doing exceptionally well so he needed to accept it and not knock on the manager’s door to ask questions, but he has been bothered by it, of course.”
Parker predicts a stern battle between Shaw and Malacia in the future
Parker remains excited by the long term prospects of Malacia after a full season at Manchester United and a pre-season under his belt.
“He has done well when he has been given the chance and I do believe that he will be a key player for Man United in the future.”
“I think that he is looking forward to having a pre-season for Man United, where he isn’t the new kid on the block and maybe he can gain a bit of confidence there.”
“He will improve, but will he take over Luke Shaw’s position already by the beginning of next season? Not unless Shaw is going to commit football suicide. He has to accept that but with time and when he starts feeling like a true Manchester United player, I believe he can do a good job.”