EPL

World Cup-winner Martinez can help Man Utd end trophy drought, says McTominay

By Sports Desk December 20, 2022

The mentality of Argentina's World Cup-winning defender Lisandro Martinez can help Manchester United end their five-year trophy drought this season, according to Scott McTominay.

Martinez initially struggled after swapping Ajax for United in July, but the defender has since emerged as a key part of Erik ten Hag's new-look team, who sit fifth in the Premier League.

Martinez appeared in five of Argentina's seven games in Qatar – starting twice – as Lionel Messi led the Albiceleste to their third title, which was clinched with a penalty shoot-out win against France.

Addressing United's fans ahead of Wednesday's EFL Cup last-16 tie against Burnley, McTominay detailed his first conversation with Martinez after Argentina's triumph, saying the Red Devils must adopt a winning mentality to challenge for silverware.

"Success will always be winning trophies and that's the most important thing at this football club," McTominay said.

"With the manager that we've got now, we've got a really good opportunity to start that journey, especially this year. 

"We've got a really good chance to implement ourselves and really start pushing. I feel like this is the year where we can go for it and that’s firmly reiterated by all the coaches and in the squad.

"I messaged Lisandro the other day and said congratulations and he said, 'we go for the next one'. He's just won a World Cup, so that shows the mentality that is in the group."

Martinez is not the only Argentine to impress for United this season, with teenage winger Alejandro Garnacho scoring twice since breaking into the first-team squad.

Garnacho scored a stoppage-time winner in United's most recent Premier League game at Fulham, and McTominay believes there is no limit to the 18-year-old's potential if he remains grounded. 

"He's a hell of a footballer and if he keeps his feet on the ground and keeps learning and keeps wanting to work hard, then he can do what he wants in football," he said.

"He's such a talented player and we've got to keep him humble and keep him working hard as well."

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