During an appearance on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel, Ferdinand said about Lisandro Martinez: “On form right now, I don’t think there’s really much argument coming from anywhere else.
“I think he’s dominant, he’s aggressive, he’s a leader, he communicates well, he shows character, he’s there in big moments.
“But I was one of the ones questioning, ‘Is he physically gonna be able to compete here if teams isolate him, if teams isolate him?’
“And that’s where Erik ten Hag has been confident in tactically being able to keep teams away from being able to dominate enough possession to isolate someone like Martinez.
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“And, up till now, he hasn’t been exposed in that sense. On a regular basis, week after week, are we not sitting there going, ‘That’s a recurring problem, there. It continues to happen, someone’s pulling out on him and jumping over him or bullying him physically.’
“We haven’t seen that, that hasn’t become the narrative. And you have to say well done to him but also well done to the recruitment up to now.”
Martinez joined United for around £57m from Ajax. He has since established himself as an important member of the team.