Football News

Man Utd talisman set to return as Erik ten Hag reveals best trainers

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 20:00, 25 March 2024

Erik ten Hag could be handed a boast with Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez aiming to feature in his side’s Premier League showdown against Brentford this weekend.

The 26-year-old Argentine centre-back has endured another injury-plagued campaign. He was sidelined several weeks ago after sustaining a medial ligament injury against West Ham.

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Martinez, though, has been able to participate in training and was recently permitted by United to continue his rehabilitation with his national team. However, the world champion has reportedly flown home from the East Coast of America, where Lionel Scaloni’s men are based and could be in line for a Premier League return.

Following Ten Hag from Dutch giants Ajax, his first season at Old Trafford ended brutally. He suffered a right foot injury while playing in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinal against Sevilla. It was later confirmed that he fractured the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot and would miss the remainder of the 2022/23 season.

Martínez reinjured his foot last September and was sidelined for months. His second comeback wouldn’t be long, but the Red Devils are hopeful those setbacks are behind him.

A glance at the numbers will show why they’re desperate for ‘The Butcher’ to stick around in the business at the end of this season. Of the 47 matches he’s played, United have won 32, drawn four and lost the other 12. But in those 48 games he’s not started, United have won only 25, drawn eight and lost 14. That gives them a win rate of 68% with him in the starting XI and 52% without him.

Martinez was recently named by Ten Hag among the best trainers at Man Utd when he spoke with Rio Ferdinand, who said Paul Scholes, during his spell at the club, set the tone and kept standards high in training.

“Raphael Varane, Casemiro, Bruno (Fernandes), and Licha Martinez, when he is on the training pitch, he is always (on the) front foot, always switched on,” was the Dutchman’s response when asked which of the current squad members play that role now. “He always wants to win, even in small games.”