Wayne Rooney tips Lisandro Martinez to have a big World Cup

Wayne Rooney has tipped Manchester United central defender Lisandro Martinez to shine at the forthcoming World Cup.

£57 million man Martinez got over a sticky start in England to shine at the heart of United’s defence as they have continued to improve under Erik ten Hag.

He has apparently given the Argentina manager a selection dilemma ahead of the tournament, which they go into on a long unbeaten run.

And Rooney told the Times that the central defender is set for a big tournament as he said Argentina are the favourites to win it.

Photo by Martin Dokoupil/Getty Images

Rooney on Martinez

He wrote: “I really like Lisandro Martínez.

“Watching him for Manchester United recently, he is really composed and aggressive.

“He is perfect for international football and will be a big player for them.”

Manager Lionel Scaloni’s first choice duo are reported to be Tottenham’s Cristian Romero, and Benfica’s Nicolas Otamendi.

Romero has had injury problems for Tottenham this season and we never saw Otamendi get to the levels that Martinez has already reached in English football.

International managers like stability, but Martinez will be hoping to have forced his way into that first choice pairing for the World Cup.

A good performance on the world stage would see his star continue to rise after facing unfair criticism when he first moved to United.

Argentina have as good a chance as anyone of scooping glory in Qatar, with Lionel Messi looking to make the most of what will probably be his last World Cup.

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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.