Graeme Souness still believes Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez isn’t physical enough to succeed in the Premier League.
Martinez, who is 5ft 9, managed to handle the aerial threat of 6ft 5 Hammers forward Gianluca Scamacca with relative ease, considering the seven-inch size difference.
Despite all that, Souness thinks Premier League strikers will eventually get the better of ‘The Butcher’ due to his size.
He told talkSPORT: “That worry for me is still there. If you watch at set pieces, he’s used as a blocker or on the near post. He hasn’t got the physique to take on the big buys and mark them man-to-man. He’s definitely brought aggression.”
Martinez is already a cult hero among the Old Trafford faithful. He’s started all 12 of United’s Premier League games this season following a summer transfer from Ajax.
The Argentina international looks to be the complete package for manager Erik ten Hag’s style of play. Souness thinks it’s too early to rate Martinez a success, however.
He continued: “We’ve played 12 games. There’s a lot to like about him, I like his aggression. The first thing he did when they played Liverpool at Old Trafford, he’s gone right through Mohamed Salah.
Martinez has been a regular under Erik ten Hag. (Image Credit: Alamy)”Salah for the rest of the game was looking for him. I like that. That’s professional sport, he did his job very early on Mo Salah and for the rest of the game looking over his shoulder.
“I just feel when you are that size you will get caught. You will get pinned in the box.
“I don’t think he’s terribly quick, I don’t think he’s terribly good on the ball, but he makes other people play and has real aggression, which Argentinians tend to have.”
The former Liverpool manager even claimed Martinez will get ‘found out’ further down the line. He went on to stress that no other central defender has been a success and that short.
Martinez challenges Michail Antonio. (Image Credit: Alamy)Souness concluded: “We are talking about the Premier League. He will [get found out]. At 5ft 9 and he’s playing against guys who are 6ft 2 then he will get pinned occasionally.
“He will get out sprinted occasionally and he will get caught. That’s my take on it.
“I can’t tell you a centre back in English football, in my time of the game, that have been successful being that size.”