Lisandro Martinez picked up an ankle injury in the first half of Manchester United’s opening Premier League fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night.
Martinez was taken off at half-time by manager Erik ten Hag and many speculated that the change was tactical as he was booked in the 17th minute. But Martinez’s defensive partner and United’s match-winner Raphael Varane confirmed in an interview after the game that the Argentine had sustained an injury.
Varane revealed it was an ankle tendon injury but went on to say that it was only a ‘little problem’ and he does not believe it is a big deal. The manager provided no update on the centre-back’s injury in his post-match press conference which made many believe that the injury is a minor one.
Since no official statement has been reported by the club or the manager though, the defender is to be considered in doubt for United’s next league game against Tottenham Hotspur on August 19.
The injury is expected to be minor but even if the Argentine is out for a couple of weeks, it could be an issue for Ten Hag. His absence would no doubt be a big blow for the Red Devils.
Varane and Martinez have formed an excellent partnership in the heart of United’s defence and are a major part of United’s strong spine under Ten Hag. Victor Lindelof had performed well last season when asked to deputise for the World Cup winning duo, but it is clear that they are the preferred pairing for the manager.
Former captain Harry Maguire’s future at the club remains unclear after reports emerged that United had agreed a deal with West Ham for his transfer but the Englishman has still not agreed terms with the Hammers. The London club are said to be growing frustrated with the player’s indecision.
There were further reports that suggested United were set to move for Frenchman Benjamin Pavard at Bayern Munich after selling Maguire, but with unexpected delays in the transfer, those talks seem to now be on hold. So, for now, Lindelof is practically the only replacement available if Martinez is out for the game against Spurs.
Martinez arrived at Old Trafford from Ajax last season and stamped his authority straightaway making himself a starter from day one. The 25-year-old played a pivotal role in United’s relatively successful 2022/23 season and also added the World Cup trophy to his cabinet in November.
The United coaches, players and fans will be hoping the injury is just a minor blip for the Argentine and he can return back to action as soon as possible.