Liverpool legend Graeme Souness has admitted that he was wrong in believing that Lisandro Martinez would be “exposed” after his stunning move to Manchester United.
United manager Erik ten Hag was reunited with Martinez last summer after the Red Devils agreed to a deal worth around £57m to sign him from Ajax.
Martinez’s arrival at Old Trafford was initially met with criticism from figures inside the footballing world, including Souness and Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher.
However, Martinez has been widely hailed as one of United’s best signings of last summer’s window after striking up a brilliant partnership with Raphael Varane.
And Martinez scooped his first major piece of silverware for United last month with the Red Devils’ 2-0 win over Newcastle in the League Cup final at Wembley.
Speaking ahead of Liverpool vs United on Sunday, Souness said that he has to “hold [his] hands up” after the “feisty” World Cup-winning Argentine proved him wrong.
“I think Lisandro Martinez is one of those players who, if you’re playing against him, would annoy the life out of you,” he wrote in his column for The Daily Mail.
“He’s a feisty so-and-so, isn’t he? The phrase ‘argue in an empty house’ comes to mind!
“He’d have an argument with himself, looking in the mirror! But teammates react to that.
“I thought he would be exposed when he arrived at United, because of his size and relative lack of pace.
“I have to hold my hands up, there. But he obviously has a real football brain and that ‘lead from the front’ mentality.
“You can see it in him. Everyone on the pitch, he wants to have an argument with. I love to see that.
“Casemiro’s got a bit of it in him, too. They’re the ones who can carry the flag. And then, behind them, you’ve got others suddenly ready to stand up and be counted.
“I like the way Erik ten Hag has reinstated discipline. These are the kinds of qualities I always remember when we went up against Manchester United.”