Ferdinand excitement building over new Man Utd ‘leader’ after previously expressing doubts

Date published: Saturday 16th July 2022 11:00 - Joe Williams

Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand smiles

Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand is getting more and more excited about the signing Lisandro Martinez after “hearing” positive things.

The Ajax defender has not been officially unveiled as a new Red Devils player just yet but the Argentina international arrived in England yesterday to complete a deal.

Man Utd have agreed a fee in the region of £46.75m for Martinez and he will now undergo a medical in Manchester and complete the requisite visa processes.

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Ferdinand recently expressed his doubts over Martinez’s ability to handle big, physical strikers in the Premier League because of his smaller stature.

The Man Utd legend said last week: “You have to be ready physically to deal with these big forwards. Nunez and Haaland have come in at Liverpool and City, they’re over 6ft 2in each, you have to come up against these guys on a regular basis.

“Chris Wood at Newcastle, these are big, big guys. Is he going to be able to deal with people like that the size that he is? He’s on the smaller side as a centre-half.”

But Ferdinand likes what he has been hearing in recent days with the Ajax defender known for his leadership qualities and putting demands on other players.

“The more I’ve looked into him and the vibes and the stories I’m hearing and the mutterings from different people – it gets better,” Ferdinand said on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel.

“I listened to an interview with Jurrien Timber, the young player that United were looking to sign, the centre back Martinez played alongside at Ajax.

“He was saying, ‘When I’m not on my game and a bit out of concentration, Martinez always shouts at me, he always swears at me in in his language and gets me going.’

“I’ve been shouting about the character element for a long time and from what I’m hearing from various people, Timber being one of them, is that he has the character.

“He’s a leader. He [makes] demands of other people and he’s somebody who wants to get physical and very aggressive but who can also play.”


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