Arsenal: Sky Sports man claims £28.8m target should play in surprise position

Image for Arsenal: Sky Sports man claims £28.8m target should play in surprise position

According to Patrick van Straaten, Arsenal should look to deploy transfer target Lisandro Martinez in central midfield rather than at centre-back next season if they do bring the 24-year-old Ajax star in.

The Gunners are looking to bolster their squad once again this summer under Mikel Arteta with moves for Gabriel Jesus and Raphinha, and Ajax star Martinez lined up before the end of the window.

Arsenal has been linked with Martinez for some time now as the centre-back impressed last season for the Dutch club under now Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag. While many may see the player as a step up in the defence, Football Daily reporter Van Straaten believes he could be deployed elsewhere to help the North London club.

He said on Sunday Vibes, “I think if Martinez comes in he’s going to play a lot of minutes at CM. I don’t think he’s going to play centre-back. I think he’d be seen as a left-back slash central midfielder in the way in if we sign Zinchenko. Martinez might well play centre-back if Arsenal goes to a three at the back, but he’s not going to be a conventional centre-back”.

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Martinez impressed last season in the Eredivise as Ajax won the league title ahead of rivals PSV Eindhoven with 24 league appearances with one goal and three assists from the centre-back position.

It is interesting to hear Van Straaten would start the £28.8m-rated man higher up the pitch in the centre of midfielder, but when you look at his stats, it’s an obvious fit for the Argentine defender. Last season he averaged two tackles, 1.9 interceptions, 1.9 clearances, 1.6 shots, 0.7 key passes, and 5.4 long balls per game with 88.9% passing accuracy with an incredible 81.8 average passes per game. (Whoscored)

He also ranked impressively in the 99th percentile for assists, shot-creating actions, passes attempted, progressive passes, and tackles per game compared to centre-backs across Europe’s top five leagues. (Fbref)

Looking at these stats it is easy to see how he could fit into a midfield three, as the pivot on his own or as a duo with Thomas Partey. He can create from deep and his defensive capabilities would help current starting defenders Ben White and Gabriel. While he could feature as part of a back-three, Arteta did not opt for that formation last season and is, therefore, hard to see him adjusting tactics this dramatically upon his arrival.

Should Arsenal deploy Martinez in midfield?





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