Manchester United’s hopes of finishing the season on a high have taken a hit following a double defensive injury blow. The club confirmed on Friday that Lisandro Martinez is set to miss the remainder of the season. After the defender fractured a metatarsal bone in his foot during Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final against Sevilla. Meanwhile, his defensive partner Raphael Varane is expected to be out for a few weeks. After being substituted with an injury at half-time in the same game. Erik ten Hag had some strong words to say about the current injury crisis.
Martinez, who joined from Ajax in the summer, quickly established himself as a fan favorite at Old Trafford. Making 45 appearances and winning the Carabao Cup in his first season. His injury comes at a crucial time as United look to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League and progress further in the Europa League.
Varane, who joined from Real Madrid last year, has also become an integral part of United’s defence. Helping the team keep a number of clean sheets this season. His absence will be felt in the upcoming fixtures, especially as United’s remaining centre-back options are limited.
Erik Ten Hag on Injuries
United boss Erik ten Hag has expressed confidence in the remaining center-backs, stating that he has “four or five very good centre-halves who can do the job.” However, with Harry Maguire also set to miss the FA Cup semi-final against Brighton next Sunday due to suspension, United’s defense will be severely depleted.
Luke Shaw, who has impressed in central defense when called upon this season, could be a viable option in the upcoming fixtures. The left-back has missed recent matches due to injury but could return against Nottingham Forest this weekend. Meanwhile, midfielder Scott McTominay could also make a return to the team following a spell on the sidelines.
Despite the injuries, Erik Ten Hag has emphasized the importance of squad players stepping up and contributing to the team.
“Every game is a battle, every game is a fight and you have to be ready for that fight,” he said. “We have a squad. I have said all season we have more than 11 starters, so now others are on and when their time is there, you have to show and contribute to the team.”Erik ten Hag
While injuries are an unfortunate part of football, Ten Hag has made it clear that excuses will not be tolerated. “If you want to find excuses or set excuses, then you don’t have to play for Man United and you have to look for another club,” he said. “You have to wait for your moment and when the moment is there, you have to contribute, you have to bring your performance and that is what we demand.”
United face a crucial few weeks as they look to end the season on a high. Their upcoming fixtures include a Premier League game against Nottingham Forest. The second leg of the Europa League quarter-final against Sevilla, and an FA Cup semi-final against Brighton. It remains to be seen how the injuries will affect the team’s performance. But one thing is clear: the remaining players will need to step up and deliver if United are to achieve their goals.