Erik ten Hag has provided a rather concerning update on the fitness of Lisandro Martinez for Manchester United.
Manchester United picked up an important 3-0 win over West Ham United at Old Trafford but the win was overshadowed by yet another injury to Lisandro Martinez.
Midway through the second half, the Argentine was attempting to allow the ball out of play but the former Ajax defender was being harried by Vladimir Coufal, as the players fell onto the ground, it seemed that Martinez came off worse.
The defender, after attempting to play on with the problem, was replaced by Raphael Varane and Erik ten Hag has now provided an update on the situation.
The Argentine has not long since returned to the starting lineup after a near three-month absence from the first team with an operation needed in an attempt to solve the foot problem he suffered last campaign.
He was quoted via club media: “I can’t tell the detail but it seems bad. We have to wait for the detail and making the right diagnosis in the coming days. We’ll see what is going on. In this moment, we’re very sad about this but, hopefully, it’s not too bad. We can only pray.
“We have to find out in the next days what is the diagnosis. It’s very bad for him and very bad for the team. He’s just returning and is a very important part for us. Last season, when he fell out, I felt our performances dropped a level. We have to avoid that because we have a good squad and centre-backs who can fill in. But he definitely brings spirit to the team, apart from his footballing abilities.
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“It’s disappointing for the team and especially for Licha. It’s so frustrating, he worked hard to return now for two games. It looks like he has to sit some games out injured again but let’s stay positive at this moment. Hopefully, it’s not too bad but we have to wait.”
Losing the Argentine to another long-term injury problem would be disastrous for Ten Hag but with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof able to deputise for Martinez, as the Englishman proved against West Ham, all hope is not lost.
However, the long-term future of the Argentine may well be of concern with this being the third absence suffered by the Argentine over the past 10 months, which is very concerning.
Martinez’s long-term fitness
With a new centre-back already being high on the list of priorities for Ten Hag and Ineos, having to look for another defender if Martinez continues with these injury problems, would be a concern.
Money in the summer may well be a problem if the club does not achieve qualification to the Champions League and having to buy two centre-backs, with one of the club’s targets in Jarrad Branthwaite potentially costing £100 million, they may struggle.
The hope will be that Martinez will return swiftly from this injury problem but Ten Hag’s assessment of the situation is certainly not a good one.