The earlier comments of Erik ten Hag and Marc Overmars on Lisandro Martinez provide some insight into why Arsenal are apparently interested in signing the Ajax defender this summer.
Following the additions of Marquinhos and Matt Turner, Sports Deputy reported that Fabio Vieira would likely become Arsenal’s third summer signing after the club negotiated a £35 million deal with Portuguese giants Porto. Martinez is now the North Londoners’ top objective, according to The Athletic, who also report that the Argentine is interested in moving to the Emirates Stadium.
According to the source, the reigning Eredivisie winners have turned down a bid of around £25 million for the 24-year-old, but are set to come back with a better offer as manager Mikel Arteta seeks to strengthen his defensive options. Arsenal’s season was derailed last season by injuries to left-back Kieran Tierney and centre-back Ben White, and Martinez’s ability to play in both positions could be one of the main reasons why technical director Edu is interested in him.
Overmars, a former Ajax transfer chief who also played for Arsenal from 1997 to 2000, has previously hailed the young defender’s flexibility and ball-playing abilities. “Martinez is a left-footed defender who can play a variety of positions,” Overmars remarked.
“He’s a defender who prefers to play forward in football.” Ten Hag, the new manager of Manchester United, has made no secret of his fondness for the former Newell’s Old Boys hero. “I think Lisandro Martinez is an excellent player,” the Dutchman said last year. “He’s actually starting material, which is why I talk to him a lot.”