Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez left the Emirates Stadium with Alejandro Garnacho as the Argentina duo prepare to fly back to South America for international duty – despite his worrying injury blow. The centre-back was forced off the pitch in the second half of the bitterly disappointing 3-1 defeat at Arsenal sparking fears he could be set for a spell on the sidelines.
While it’s evidently too early to tell how serious the issue is, Martinez is still joining up with the Argentina squad as planned.
Should the problem have appeared to be serious, it’s highly likely he would have received some treatment before a decision on the upcoming international break was made.
But United were seemingly satisfied he would be fine to travel as the Argentina pair left the Emirates together to catch a flight back to South America.
Erik ten Hag said on Martinez and fellow defender Victor Lindelof, who was also substituted, after the defeat: “Victor was ill, so he had to come off. Licha had a problem on his foot but I am not sure if it’s an injury. We have to wait, to see, to make the diagnosis.”
United missed Martinez for the latter stages of last season and his absence was detrimental to their results on the pitch.
He suffered a fractured metatarsal which required surgery and supporters were left fearing the worst when he went down clutching his foot in north London on Sunday afternoon.
Martinez, who is likely to be assessed by the Argentina medical staff upon arrival in South America, could not continue and United’s defence would resultantly ship two goals as Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus snatched all three points for the hosts.
Incredibly, Ten Hag’s side finished the match with Harry Maguire and the returning Jonny Evans, who recently signed a one-year contract with United.
Both were all at sea in the closing stages of the contest as Arsenal somehow snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
United thought they had won it when Alejandro Garnacho raced through on goal and fired home before the goal was chalked off by VAR for offside.
Garnacho and Martinez – injury depending – will be part of the Argentina side that faces Ecuador and Bolivia in World Cup qualification matches in the next 10 days.
The Red Devils will then host Brighton at Old Trafford on September 16 before kicking off their Champions League campaign with a trip to Bayern Munich.
Ten Hag will want to have Martinez in his side for that encounter in particular as the Red Devils prepare to lock horns with former transfer target Harry Kane.
The Dutchman has claimed his side have been short of luck in their opening four Premier League matches.
“You want to take more from it. First game was not our game, we needed a little luck. Then I think against Spurs and today it was a penalty,” he told Sky Sports.
I see good patterns and I see our trend line going up. It is the international break and then we continue.
“We have to improve definitely but you see and what we saw last year, we can beat anyone. It is such close margins and we could have won today. If Garnacho’s is a goal, then we would have won.”