Erik ten Hag's first training session as Man Utd boss
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Manchester United and Arsenal target Lisandro Martinez has spoken out at a time where the two Premier League rivals are fighting to secure his signature. The centre-back is being eyed by both Erik ten Hag and Mikel Arteta. And, currently, he looks likelier to move to Old Trafford than the Emirates Stadium.
Manchester United are eyeing Martinez because they feel he’d be a different profile to current centre-backs such as Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane.
And Arsenal are also keen as Arteta hunts a top defender to keep the likes of Ben White and Gabriel on their toes.
Now, Martinez has spoken on his rise to the top in an interview with The Mirror.
And he’s opened up on the hard-man reputation he’s created himself during his spell in Amsterdam, where he’s affectionately known as the ‘butcher’.
“Yes, I am called the canisero – the Butcher of Amsterdam,” he told the publication.
“We Argentines do everything with passion – and when I go out on the pitch I fight for every ball.
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“If I have to step over dead bodies I do it.
“I want to win every 50-50 situation because I know that I am fighting for food for every member of my family and for my friends.
“That is the feeling I have – and every Argentinian has. It is the kind of motivation I cannot explain.
“I got my talent from my mum. Next to her work – which was a really hard job – she is also a good footballer. She still plays!
“She is a fantastic midfielder, honestly. She is older now, but she is still playing.”
The 24-year-old also name-dropped Ten Hag, revealing he was proud of everything he’d achieved throughout his three years in Amsterdam.
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“I am so proud of what I have achieved at Ajax and under Ten Hag,” added the defender.
“I grew as a player and became an Argentinian international thanks to my development at Ajax.
“And I even got to wear the captaincy armband for my country.
“That was the day my father cried, it was very emotional. My mum cried too, my uncles, aunties, cousins, everyone.
“The World Cup is definitely my goal. We have great players and we must all be ready for it. We won the Copa America together and can do it again.”
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And Martinez also admitted he’s aiming to base his game on Italian legend Fabio Cannavaro.
Cannavaro had an exceptional career during his playing days, winning the World Cup in 2006 and shining at the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus.
And Martinez said: “Cannavaro was comfortable on the ball. And, despite his lack of height, he challenged for every ball as if it was the last tackle to win the game.
“I loved that style. And I am just like him.
“I would prefer not to be like Virgil van Dijk. His height is certainly a big plus, but when you don’t have the other qualities, it is worth nothing.
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“My favourite position is definitely central defence. I started out as a midfielder, but I learned all the qualities for a central defender who plays in an attacking team under Ten Hag.
“I can look after myself. When I left home as a boy it was really hard because I had always been very close to my parents.
“I had to leave them behind. I had to get to know new people. It was a shock.
“At that age you are not ready to leave home.You are not a man yet. But I did it.
“I learned to be responsible for my own life and take care of everything for myself.”
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