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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Opinion: Latest news coming out of Manchester United explains exactly why Ineos want £75m star this summer

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Manchester United just haven’t been able to get away from injury problems all season long and that trend isn’t going to stop in the final weeks of the campaign.

This was supposed to be the season for United to really kick on after finishing third last term.

United were 14 points shy of league winners Manchester City but there was real positivity heading into this term.

The season has been immensely disappointing with performance levels – even in many victories – simply falling short of the mark expected of a successful United side.

Erik ten Hag has pointed to injuries throughout the season, highlighting that he has been without key players at every turn on his bumpy journey.

Brentford FC v Manchester United - Premier League

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Another injury blow for Manchester United

It’s probably easier to list the United players who haven’t picked up an injury of some kind this season.

We have barely seen Mason Mount this term, Casemiro has suffered multiple problems, just like Luke Shaw and Raphael Varane.

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Then we come to Lisandro Martinez, who just hasn’t been able to get going this season.

The Argentinian is United’s best centre back by some distance but he has managed just seven Premier League starts and two substitute appearances.

Martinez only just returned on Saturday, coming off the bench in the 1-1 draw at Brentford to play 21 minutes after almost two months out of action.

Remarkably, Martinez is now injured again with United confirming that he will miss around a month with a muscle problem, just like Victor Lindelof.

There aren’t many games left this season and Martinez may well have already played his last Premier League game of the campaign.

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

Lisandro Martinez injury sums up why United want big signing

United just can’t afford to be without Martinez, not just for his individual, battling qualities but because of the balance he brings to the back line.

Martinez is a natural left-footer and nobody in the United squad can replicate his influence in that left-sided centre back role.

Luke Shaw had a go last season but he is much better as a left back and Martinez’s continued injury problems – combined with Shaw’s own issues – mean United may now focus on another left-sided defender.

The top name in the frame is Everton star Jarrad Branthwaite.

Young, homegrown, big, strong and left-footed – Branthwaite ticks the boxes for Ineos and United heading into the summer window.

Everton allegedly want £75million for Branthwaite whereas United are thought to be eyeing a fee of around £50million.

Either way, Branthwaite would cost a significant fee and United may feel that he is worth the investment because Martinez just can’t be relied upon to stay fit.

Tuesday’s injury news just sums up exactly why United are showing such a strong interest in Branthwaite and whilst it stings to be talking about replacing Martinez, this latest injury leaves United with little other choice.

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