Erik ten Hag admitted that Lisandro Martinez played when he was “not 100% fit” before the Manchester United defender suffered a recurrence of the foot injury that cut short last season.
Martinez missed the end of last season after breaking a bone in his right foot in April. He returned to the team in the summer but was substituted during the 3–1 defeat to Arsenal in September. 3 After raising the problem.
– Stream on ESPN+: La Liga, Bundesliga, more (US)
He did not play for Argentina during the international break but started for United against Brighton and Bayern Munich before being ruled out for at least two months.
“We also made an accurate diagnosis in Argentina, but now it’s known to be a problem,” ten Haag told a news conference on Friday. “It’s very unfortunate, for him and the team, because he wasn’t 100% fit.”
Martinez was part of the team that scored 14 goals in games against Tottenham, Nottingham Forest, Arsenal, Brighton and Bayern.
In his absence, United have kept back-to-back clean sheets against Burnley and Crystal Palace and Ten Haag believes the injury has affected the Argentine’s form.
“I think it was a big difference, the Licha Martinez in the last games and the Licha Martinez we saw here in the first season,” the Dutchman added.
“He will add to the team, a really strong contributor at our level and if one player already drops a level, the team’s performance will be lower.”
With Martinez beginning a period on the sidelines, Brazilian winger Anthony will resume training on Saturday after ending his leave of absence to deal with abuse allegations.
Ten Haag spoke to Anthony regularly during his time in Brazil but said he would assess the winger’s mental state before deciding when to bring him back into the squad.
“I spoke to him, but I don’t know how he is, what his mental state is,” Ten Haag said.
“I can’t say right now, he has to come back first.”