"I don't have anything to prove to anyone" – Manchester United star hits back at pundits and critics

Lisandro Martinez joined Manchester United ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Lisandro Martinez joined Manchester United ahead of the 2022-23 season.

Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez has stated that he is unperturbed by pundits' constant criticism of his short stature.

Martinez, 25, has established himself as a vital first-team starter for the Red Devils since arriving from Ajax in a deal worth up to £56 million last summer. He has been an essential cog in Erik ten Hag's rejuvenated 4-2-3-1 system due to his passing, man-marking and positional awareness.

A left-footed centre-back, adept at operating in multiple roles, the Argentine scored his first-ever goal for his new club during a Premier League clash against Arsenal on Sunday (January 22).

Despite equalizing with a bold header in the second half, he failed to help his team come away with a single point as the Gunners triumphed 3-2 in the end.

During a post-match interaction, Martinez was asked for his opinion on pundits and critics' comments about his short height. He told ESPN:

"Yes, to be honest, I listened to that [criticism], but I don't have anything to prove to anyone except for myself."

Martinez, who has a contract until June 2027 at Old Trafford, has rejoined the Red Devils' setup after the mid-season break in high confidence. He was a key part of Argentina's 2022 FIFA World Cup success in Qatar earlier in December, featuring in five matches in the process.

So far, the Newell's Old Boys academy graduate has racked up 1943 minutes for Manchester United this season, spread across 27 games.

Roy Keane rips into 4 Manchester United players after their loss against Arsenal

Speaking on Sky Sports, Manchester United great Roy Keane named Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fred and Scott McTominay as the Red Devils' weak links in their 3-2 loss against Arsenal. He said:

"United have made progress but at the end of the game, I'm looking at Shaw still at left-back – there are questions over him. Wan-Bissaka, Fred, McTominay – it's like Manchester United haven't moved on from the problems in the past. I'm not blaming them as it was a tough game. I have to give credit to Arsenal, but it was a reality check."

Highlighting the Old Trafford outfit's lack of depth, Keane continued:

"I still think United are well short. They were missing players today but a squad like United should be able to deal with it. Then when the going got tough, you are looking at the bench and it wasn't great. For all the money United have spent in the past summer, they are still well short. I think they are certain for top four, maybe win a cup, but in terms of competing for league titles there is still a way to go."

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava