Louis Saha, former Manchester United striker, has claimed that Lisandro Martinez’s injury has been a ‘big blow’ for the Old Trafford club.
And it was when he fell to injury against Sevilla in the Europa League that many supporters worried about Erik ten Hag’s side going forward.
It appeared that the defender had injured his anterior cruciate ligament, which is one of the worst injuries in football, but it was confirmed that he instead fractured his metatarsal, which was still a worrying setback but something that he could definitely come back from.
Martinez was available for United’s pre-season tour and started the campaign, but did not quite look the same.
It later came out that he played through several games with problems still in his foot and he has now had to have a second surgery to try and deal with the injury once and for all.
His absence, expected to be at least two months, is already proving to be a big miss for Ten Hag. The defender last term was absolutely essential to the team’s progression. Now, that area is looking like a difficulty in certain games.
“I’m sad because Lisandro is a top player and it’s even more of a loss when you consider that Manchester United are trying to play with a certain style that he’s key to implementing,” said former United striker Louis Saha when speaking to BetFred.
“Especially when it comes to playing out from the back effectively. It’s a big blow for the club because their defence was so consistent last season when he was in the team.”
However, Martinez’s influence also came off the ball last season, with him and Raphael Varane being key to United’s defensive performances last term. Both players have had spells out of the team so far this season with injuries.
Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are also absent from the team with problems. Saha believes that consistency in the defence is important for Ten Hag but the changing teams due to injury is not helping United’s defensive situation.
“The manager has built a squad that he believes will allow him to compete in all competitions and he would have been fully aware that there would be injuries along the way. Raphaël Varane has been injured the last few weeks, even though he’s thankfully back now, but the defence is a big issue because they need to all be able to play together consistently.
“They need their defence to provide them with a solid foundation to go forward and at the moment, there’s too much chopping and changing due to the injuries they’re faced with. It’s a concern for Erik ten Hag.”
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