Monday, January 30, 2023

Martinez returns to Man Utd after World Cup glory

SoccerNews in World Cup 28 Dec 2022

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Lisandro Martinez has returned to Manchester United following his World Cup success with Argentina, handing Erik ten Hag a timely boost.

A dramatic penalty shoot-out victory for La Albiceleste against France in the final in Qatar was followed by celebrations in his homeland, with Martinez given an extended break by Ten Hag.

However, his absence has come alongside defensive issues for United as an illness has swept through the squad, affecting both Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.

Casemiro and Luke Shaw have subsequently deputised in central defence for United’s last two games – against Burnley in the League Cup and Nottingham Forest in the Premier League – though Raphael Varane returned against the latter and Maguire came off the bench.

Ten Hag had previously reminded Martinez of the need to be available to return to action swiftly, saying: “[Martinez] has been celebrating in Buenos Aires and I can understand that. It’s the highest you can achieve.

“But also, Lisandro Martinez has to accept that on [December 27], the Premier League will go on.”

United face Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday, which begins a period of five games in a two-week spell across three competitions.

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