Journalist Pete O’Rourke has commented on the injury to Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez, calling it a significant blow for the team.
What caused the injury and how long will he be out for?
Martinez suffered a serious injury in the first leg of the Europa League match against Sevilla earlier this month, in what was his 45th appearance this season. The Argentinian centre-back had a fractured metatarsal and has had surgery since then.
Despite the success of the surgery, Erik ten Hag cannot rely on the 25-year-old for the rest of the season, with Martinez already out of games against Nottingham Forest and the return leg against Sevilla.
In a story shared just before Manchester United’s Europa League exit to Sevilla*, O’Rourke called Martinez’s absence significant because it comes at a crucial time in the season, stating:
“It’s a big blow. You want your best players fit and available for these important games at this stage of the season. Martínez has had a great debut season at Old Trafford. He has become a regular under Erik ten Hag, and losing him now for the crucial stage of the season is a blow for the team.
“His absence is significant as Ten Hag has seen his defence hit by several injuries, with Raphael Varane also injured. Losing Martínez is a significant setback, and you don’t want to lose your best players now, but it’s up to the rest of the team to step up and fill in.”
What other options does Manchester United have?
Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof replaced Martinez and Varane, and they helped the team secure a Premier League victory with a clean sheet last weekend.
Yet, Maguire’s performance was criticised by Samuel Luckhurst after Manchester United’s game against Forest, and he made a costly error on Thursday leading to Sevilla’s first goal, which secured Manchester United’s quarter-final exit.
Despite this, Maguire and Lindelof are Ten Hag’s only available options for Manchester United, yet another option could be to deploy left-back Luke Shaw at centre-back, as he has done on six occasions this season. However, Martinez and Varane’s significance has been demonstrated throughout the season, and their absence will be difficult for the team.