Edwin van der Sar has in an interview with The Athletic told what he told Arsenal when the Londoners made an offer for Lisandro Martínez. The offer of the current leader of the Premier League did not come close to Ajax’s asking price.
In the summer, an offer from Arsenal of around 35 to 40 million euros was discussed. An offer that, in the eyes of Ajax, was too low for Martínez. “Arsenal came earlier (than Manchester United, ed.) For Lisandro, but it was an offer of which we said: “Thank you very much for the offer, but this way we prefer to keep the player rather than negotiate”.
Things went differently with Manchester United, says Van der Sar. “In recent years we have had more negotiations with Manchester United. Think of Daley Blind and Donny van de Beek. It’s my job to make the best decisions for Ajax.’
Influence Erik ten Hag
Earlier in the summer, Erik ten Hag already transferred from Ajax to Manchester United and that also helped with the transfer of Martínez. ‘Erik has done a fantastic job here (at Ajax, ed.). He put Ajax back on the European map’, says Van der Sar. “In retrospect you know that managers love the players they work with and with Martínez he has now shown what he is worth.”
In England, Martínez was previously criticized. His height, in particular, did not speak in his favor with many analysts. Van der Sar: ‘There were question marks about him, but the way he reads the game and how aggressive he is, ensures that his short height is compensated for.’
Martínez is having a good season at Manchester United so far. The Argentinian is sure of a basic place and is now regarded as an important player at the English top club. Manchester United are currently fifth in the league. Arsenal, who took Oleksandr Zinchenko instead of Martínez, are at the top of the English league.