Souness raises Martinez concern at Man Utd and aims dig at Pogba

Erik ten Hag reviews Man Utd's win v West Ham

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Graeme Souness thinks Erik ten Hag has improved Manchester United’s transfer strategy at Old Trafford. However, while Lisandro Martinez has impressed, he still harbours concerns over the Argentina international. And the talkSPORT pundit also couldn’t resist yet another big at former Red Devils star Paul Pogba, too…

Martinez had a tough start to life at United, with the Argentina international struggling in defeats to Brighton and Brentford.

But the former Ajax star has since responded with some stirring performances at centre-back, forging a reputation as being one of the best defenders in the Premier League in the process.

Martinez was at his best as United beat West Ham 1-0 on Sunday, managing to nullify the threat of the Hammers’ frontline as his side claimed all three points.

Souness has now praised the recruitment of the club while speaking to talkSPORT, saying: “Prior to this year, none [when asked about progress being made at the club].

“There was Ed Woodward making the football decisions, signings, who should leave, who you give extended contracts to.

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“I think they spent in the region of £1.1bn and a lot of it was wasted money, they were treading water if not going backwards from a team that were a dominant force for 25 years under Fergie.

“This guy has certainly got them disciplined, bought better players, whoever’s responsible for that deserves a lot of credit.”

However, when quizzed on who United’s better players are, he then expressed concerns over Martinez by saying: “That worry for me is still there [for Martinez] if you watch from set-pieces, he still uses a blocker or on the near post, he’s not got the physique to take on the big guys and mark them man for man.

“I think he’s brought a bit of aggression to them and in my experience in dressing rooms, if you’ve got players who are willing to have a fight or go out looking for a fight you’ve got several coming behind you.

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“We’ve played 12 games, there’s lots to like about him, I like his aggression, the first thing he did when he played Liverpool, he’s gone right through Mo Salah.

“For the rest of the game, Mo Salah was looking for him, I like that – I love that. That’s professional sport, so he did his job very early on Mo Salah.

“There’s a lot to like about him but when you’re that size, you will get caught, pinned in the box but there’s a lot to like about him.

“I don’t think he’s terribly quick but he’s got something about that makes other people play, he’s got real aggression.

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“Common sense tells you at five foot nine, playing against guys six foot two, he’ll get pinned occasionally, he’ll get outsprinted occasionally and he will get caught.

“I can’t tell you a centre-back in my time in the English game that was super successful for being that size.”

And Souness couldn’t resist another dig at Pogba, who he often criticised during the midfielder’s time at United.

“I think Manchester United are a fantastic football club, they really are, one of if not the biggest in the world, glamorous and most successful,” he said.


“Can I just call this out, who was the first person to call out Pogba as a pudding? I rest my case.”

He added: “I can remember the first time I saw him, it was the semi-final of the Champions League, Juve vs Real Madrid.

“I was with Jamie Redknapp and Thierry [Henry], Jamie was raving about this young midfielder, wait till you see him.

“And I came away from the game thinking ‘he’s not for me’. Never has been and I think I’ve been proved right and his time at Manchester United is a mitigated failure.”

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