Lisandro Martinez appeared with Erik ten Hag at the club’s press conference ahead of the Europa League tie with Real Betis.
The Argentina international joined Manchester United for £46 million from Ajax last summer, a fee which looks more than reasonable considering his excellent first season.
The centre-back will be in contention for United’s player of the year award, and part of his success has been down to his partnership with French star Raphael Varane.
Martinez used the press conference to talk up Varane, a teammate he has huge respect for.
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Martinez talks up Varane
Speaking to United’s club website, Martinez said he is enjoying his partnership alongside Raphael Varane.
He explained: “Rapha [Raphael Varane] is an amazing player. I really enjoy playing with him.
”We always enjoy [being together] in training, but the good thing is [we are] working hard. We are doing an amazing job, but we [also] have Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire.
”They are always ready and I am happy because we have a really good connection. When you have those players and that connection, you can have clean sheets and you can play [with confidence at] the back.”
It is possible Varane is rested against Real Betis with an eye on the FA Cup quarter-final against Fulham on Sunday.
Erik ten Hag has made clear that he views the pairing as United’s first choice, despite the recent hiccup against Liverpool. The manager responded by sticking with the duo.
Together Varane and Martinez are looking like Manchester United’s best partnership in a decade, since the days of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
This defensive resilience has been key to United’s rebuild under Ten Hag, and Martinez and Varane are a combination which compliment each other well.
Martinez’s respect for Varane and everything he has achieved in football shines through, and on the pitch they have already won one trophy together, and are keen to add more.