Manchester United completed a deal for Lisandro Martinez last week after plenty of back and forth with Ajax over a deal.

After much speculation he became the first player Erik ten Hag successfully swooped on Ajax to sign, while being linked with half the squad.

Ajax technical manager Gerry Hamstra has been speaking to the media and has explained how Lisandro Martinez’s determination to force through a move forced them into a sale.

Hamstra told Het Parool that in the end, Ajax simply admitted defeat and realized they could not hold the defender back from achieving his ambition of joining Manchester United.

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Opportunity of a lifetime

Hamstra said: “We didn’t want to lose Martínez, but with transfer fees like this, everyone understands how it works. We have our ambitions at Ajax. It would have been ideal if we had someone ready behind Martínez and he had stayed another year.

“After his vacation, however, we had a conversation again. In it, Lisandro clearly indicated that he still wanted to take the step. It became increasingly clear that a longer stay was not feasible, because we are simply not at the top of the food chain.

“Martínez has undergone great development with us for three years, has become champion three times and now felt this step as the opportunity of a lifetime. He also indicated that. We also understood that.”

Martinez became United’s second most expensive centre-back signing of all time and is the club’s ninth most costly signing overall.

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New manager Erik ten Hag will regard him as worth the investment. He certainly was when he signed him for Ajax in 2019, and the new manager knows him well and understands how to get the best out of him.

Ten Hag told the club website that Martinez is a type of defender which United’s squad lacks, commenting: “He’s a warrior and I think the fans will admire him. He has an attitude, fighting spirit.

“He brings aggressiveness in the game, in a good way. I think we need that. But also, he’s also skilful and he can deal with the ball and he’s left-footed.”

The move to Old Trafford certainly is an opportunity of a lifetime for both Martinez and Erik ten Hag. They both stand a better chance of success together, and it is going to be exciting to see what they can accomplish.

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