Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez somehow avoided a red card after kicking out at Patrick Bamford during Wednesday’s Premier League match against Leeds United.
Martinez signed from Ajax last summer and has proven to be an inspired addition to the United backline.
The 25-year-old, who lifted the 2022 World Cup with Argentina in Qatar, has struck up a formidable centre-back partnership with Raphael Varane.
United legend Rio Ferdinand highlighted the different qualities he admired in Martinez, including his leadership skills and dominant and aggressive approach on the pitch.
Speaking on his Vibe With FIVE podcast, he said: “On form right now, I don’t think there’s really much argument coming from anywhere else.
“I think he’s dominant, he’s aggressive, he’s a leader, he communicates well, he shows character, he’s there in big moments.”
“But I was one of the ones questioning, ‘Is he physically gonna be able to compete here if teams isolate him?’ Ferdinand added.
“And that’s where Erik ten Hag has been confident in tactically being able to keep teams away from being able to dominate enough possession to isolate someone like Martinez.
“And, up till now, he hasn’t been exposed in that sense. On a regular basis, week after week, are we not sitting there going, ‘That’s a recurring problem, there. It continues to happen, someone’s pulling out on him and jumping over him or bullying him physically.’
“We haven’t seen that, that hasn’t become the narrative, and you have to say well done to him but also well done to the recruitment up to now.”
But Martinez was lucky to avoid being shown a red card on Wednesday night after an altercation with Leeds striker Bamford.
As the two players tumbled to the floor, Martinez racked his foot over Bamford’s red. Luckily for United, VAR didn’t double-check the decision and the Argentina international stayed on the field.