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‘I feel excellent’: Man United star is putting injury nightmare behind him at last

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While Manchester United’s glorious FA Cup triumph over bitter rivals Man City gave us a reason to look back with some fondness a largely disastrous season, it also had us wondering what might have been.

What might have been had Erik ten Hag introduced Sofyan Amrabat for the increasingly calamitous Casemiro a little earlier? What might have been had Andre Onana settled quicker into life in English football.

And what might have been if Ten Hag had the majority of his key players to rely upon throughout the campaign.

In the case of Lisandro Martinez, the World Cup winner is not only Manchester United‘s best defender but also the most effective passer, a prolific breaker of the lines, a destroyer of the high press, and the man who so often is at the root of Red Devils attacks.

In that sense, Martinez is arguably the most important cog in Ten Hag’s machine.

And his emphatic shackling of Erling Haaland not only had Pep Guardiola putting him among the game’s ‘top five’ centre-halves, it also had us pondering how differently Ten Hag’s crisis-riddled second season would have turned out if he’d been available for more than just 11 Premier League games.

Lisandro Martinez of Manchester United celebrates winning the Emirates FA Cup Final match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley ...

Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Manchester United star bouncing back from injury nightmare

Martinez, at least, appears to be putting the most frustrating period of his career behind him. Speaking to reporters back home in Argentina, the £56.7 million signing from Ajax insists that he is feeling ‘excellent’ and ready to make up for lost time (Infobae).

“It was not a good season personally or as a team either,” says Martinez, ready to start for his country for the first time since the World Cup quarter-final victory over the Netherlands in December 2022.

“But you have to be prepared for when these things happen, these types of injuries. And you have to learn from them. I have to take it as an experience and be very strong physically and mentally.

“Today, I feel excellent. I have to focus on what is happening now, in the present.”

  • READ MORE: Who is Lisandro Martinez? Step inside the life of Manchester United’s tenacious Argentine

Martinez and Garnacho seek Copa America glory with Argentina

Argentina will face Ecuador in a friendly on Monday before hosting Guatemala five days later. The Albiceleste are also the favourites for this summer’s Copa America; a tournament they have won only once in the 21st century and most recently in 2011.

Alejandro Garnacho is also in Lionel Scaloni’s Copa squad, another of Man United’s FA Cup final heroes looking to stake his claim for a bigger role in a frontline which will lose Angel di Maria when draws the curtains on his international career in July.

“He has enormous talent,” Martinez told ESPN of Garnacho, who opened the scoring vs Man City at Wembley. “And he has to believe, like in the (first) goal, where he thought there was going to be a rival mistake.

“He himself caused (Josko) Gvardiol’s mistake. That is the result of when you try your hardest. The truth is that I am very proud of him because he has worked hard every day, especially at his age.

“He’s a great boy. Now, we have to help him, guide him and be with him at all times.”

  • READ MORE: Who is Alejandro Garnacho? Meet Man Utd’s dazzling Argentine

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