In a season marred by injuries, Manchester United has received another blow. Defender Lisandro Martinez is set to spend the next two to three months on the sidelines due to a foot injury. This setback comes as a double blow for the 25-year-old Argentina international, who had just returned to action at the start of the season after fracturing a metatarsal in April, which had ruled him out for the tail end of the previous campaign.
United's official statement confirmed that Martinez's injury was aggravated during their Premier League clash against Arsenal earlier this month, prompting the need for an extended period of recovery and rehabilitation. The club is currently assessing the situation to determine the next steps in his treatment.
At a news conference, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag expressed his disappointment: “It is unfortunate, for him and the team, because he was not 100% fit. I think it was a big difference, the Licha Martinez in the last games and the Licha Martinez we have seen in the last season.”
Martinez had made appearances against Wolves, Tottenham, and Nottingham Forest before featuring in a 3-1 defeat against Arsenal in September. Subsequently, he participated in losses to Brighton and Bayern Munich but was absent for victories over Burnley and Crystal Palace.
Martinez's injury adds to the growing injury crisis at Old Trafford, with Luke Shaw, Tyrel Malacia, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Sergio Reguilon also sidelined. However, there's a silver lining as Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire made their comebacks in a convincing 3-0 win against Crystal Palace midweek.
Without critical defensive personnel, the spotlight falls on Sofyan Amrabat, who will likely step in as an inverted full-back in the upcoming matches. Martinez, who joined Manchester United from Ajax last July in a deal worth up to £57m, played a crucial role in helping the team secure a third-place finish in the Premier League and clinch the Carabao Cup. As the injury woes plague Manchester United, fans will hope for a swift recovery for Martinez and a return to full strength for the team to contend in the Premier League and other competitions.