Lisandro Martinez has spoken to Gabriel Heinze about how to succeed at United

Gabriel Heinze knows how make it at Manchester United as a combative, left-footed defender and Lisandro Martinez has picked his brains.

The Athletic claims that the pair have had multiple conversations about life at the club as Lisandro looks to make a success of his move.

Martinez has turned around a shaky start to establish himself at the heart of United’s backline alongside Raphael Varane.

He faces a stern test against Manchester City in the derby tomorrow, but has been getting help from a man he has previously described as an idol.

25/9/2004 – Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United, United defender Gabriel Heinze stretches for the ball. (Photo by Mark Leech/Offside via Getty Images)

United title-winner Heinze has spoken to Martinez

In an interview with Argentine newspaper Ole last year, Martinez admitted his idol is Heinze.

Martinez said: “My idol when I was little was Gabriel Heinze and I watched him a lot at Tata Martino’s Newell’s. The direct passes that he put in, the moves in attack, the way he played, that he was aggressive, that he fought.

“I spoke [with Heinze] and I was very surprised. I don’t want to tell too much because it was an intimate, personal talk, but everything he told me was a total surprise.

“He knew that he was my idol and he ended up congratulating me and he gave me a couple of tips that I tried to put into practice.”

Heinze became a cult figure at Old Trafford because of his uncompromising style and fighting spirit.

It is clear already that Martinez is in the same mould, and is actually even more important to United already than Heinze was.

Heinze ended up getting phased out by Patrice Evra, while Lisandro is charged with being United’s defensive leader and a cornerstone of Erik ten Hag’s side.

A clean sheet and a good performance against City at the weekend would further cement his popularity. It would also mean he has kept Erling Haaland quiet…

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.