Manchester United has been dealt a significant blow, with Lisandro Martinez ruled out for the rest of the season due to a foot injury sustained in the team’s 2-2 draw against Sevilla. Meanwhile, fellow defender Raphael Varane will also be sidelined for several weeks.
During Thursday’s match at Old Trafford, Argentina center-back Martinez fell to the ground clutching his right foot, prompting initial concerns of a snapped Achilles. Fortunately, these fears were dismissed by manager Erik ten Hag in his post-match press conference.
Instead, an official statement from the club revealed that Martinez had fractured a metatarsal bone in his foot, ending his debut season at Old Trafford. The Argentinian defender is expected to recover in time for the start of the next season. Raphael Varane’s foot injury, although less severe, will see him miss several weeks of play.
The injuries come at a crucial time for Manchester United, who are still vying for success on multiple fronts. The team faces the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final against Sevilla next Thursday, followed by a showdown with Brighton in the FA Cup semi-finals three days later.
Moreover, United’s chances of securing a top-four finish in the Premier League may be jeopardized by these injuries. The team currently holds a three-point lead over fifth-placed Tottenham but has played one fewer game and is set to face their north London rivals later this month.
Martinez, a fan favorite since his £48 million move from Ajax last summer, has been an integral part of United’s defensive lineup. The 25-year-old World Cup winner has made 45 appearances in all competitions this season, impressing with his tenacious and uncompromising style of defending.
The absence of both Martinez and Varane will likely result in Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof forming the central defensive pairing for Sunday’s Premier League match against Nottingham Forest. Meanwhile, Luke Shaw is still working his way back from injury.
Despite the premature end to Martinez’s first season at Manchester United, the Argentinian has made a lasting impression by helping the team clinch the Carabao Cup and establishing himself as a fan favorite. In December, he became only the fifth United player to win the World Cup, as Argentina defeated France in the Qatar 2022 final.
Everyone at Manchester United is sending their best wishes to both Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane for a swift recovery.