Lisandro Martinez has dominated the back pages with several tabloids circulating the welcome news that Arsenal is close to acquiring his services from Ajax for a reported €35m fee. This comes after Ajax had rejected Arsenal’s initial offer of €30m. The imminent deal for a talented player like Lisandro Martinez is highly welcome, shortly after Arsenal had confirmed a deal for FC Porto’s Fabio Vieira.
The left back position is on that Arsenal has struggled badly with in recent seasons due to the consistent litany of injuries suffered by the crowd favorite, Kieran Tierney. Three seasons ago, he suffered a dislocated shoulder which was no fault of his, but he missed the best part of three to four months. Two seasons ago, his knee injury in the business end of the season had a bigger impact, as Mikel Arteta was forced to play Granit Xhaka as a left back, which proved detrimental to the team’s Europa League campaign, as Arsenal lost to the eventual winners, Villarreal. Last season, Tierney played two pointless friendlies for Scotland in March 2022, got his first international goal, then scans revealed that he had a serious knee injury that required surgery.
In his absence, Arteta tried the Granit Xhaka 2.0 experiment against Brighton, and it backfired woefully, as Xhaka’s replacement in midfield, Albert Sambi Lokonga, struggled like Hell, and when Xhaka returned to his favored midfield position, the eccentric Nuno Taveres got a runout and it all honesty, gave me quite the scare. I read this article at Arseblog about Nuno that is quite enlightening. Worth a punt.
With Tierney still recuperating from his surgery, Arsenal will need a new left back to start the campaign with, and that’s where a player like Lisandro Martinez comes in handy. Martinez is a very progressive player with 13.43 passes per 90 minutess into the final third in the EreDivisie. He is also very comfortable with the ball at his feet and he’s quite adept in several positions, with the diminutive Argentine eligible to feature as a left back, center back and defensive midfielder. He’s also technically proficient, which will bode well with the kind of football we are accustomed to at Arsenal.
Competition for places are very important, and Lisandro Martinez can challenge both Tierney and Gabriel for their places in the squad. At 24, he is an experienced international with caps for Argentina, as well as an ever-present in domestic football and European football for Ajax Amsterdam.
We will have to monitor the situation closely, as Manchester United are also interested in signing Lisandro Martinez. The Argentine defender was managed by Erik Ten Hag in his three seasons at Ajax Amsterdam, and Martinez was an instrumental player for Ten Hag, so that sentiment can come in handy if Man Utd’s intentions are genuine.
Let’s hope we can get this over the line with such incisiveness as we handled the Fabio Vieira transfer.
Follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily.
Visit Gooner Daily’s Facebook page.
Click on the “Follow button” to join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List