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Manchester United’s staff blame terrible results on one player’s absence

Newport County v Manchester United - Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round
Lisandro Martinez has played just 11 times this season (Photo by Ian Cook – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Erik ten Hag’s staff believe Lisandro Martinez’s absence for most of the season has cost Manchester United progress this term.

The Argentine has been sensational during his first season at the club since arriving in a £56million deal from Ajax.

It was injury at the end of last season that saw United crash out of the Europa League at Sevilla.

Martinez returned to fitness earlier this season but was unhappy with his recovery and went under the knife again after playing in the first nine games of the season.

After returning in February, Martinez lasted just two games before going down at six weeks. He returned in April, only to be injured again.

According to The Guardian, the staff behind Ten Hag believe Martinez’s absence has cost the side dearly.

Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
Martinez has been plagued by injuries (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

United have faced an unprecedented injury crisis this season and Jonny Evans was the only fit and recognized centre-back for Monday’s defeat to Crystal Palace.

Casemiro, Mason Mount, Marcus Rashford, Kobbie Mainoo, Rasmus Hojlund, Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire have endured long spells on the sidelines this season.

But Martinez’s absence was felt more acutely because he is one of the few vocal leaders in the dressing room.

Maguire was stripped of the captaincy last summer and the armband was given to Bruno Fernandes.

While the Portuguese midfielder is a leader, his emotions often get the better of him.

In any case, United’s backline has really lacked direction and leadership for the club, especially with new goalkeeper Andre Onana between the sticks.

MORE: Ian Wright hits out at Jamie Carragher for ‘disrespecting’ Manchester United star Casemiro

MORE: Sir Alex Ferguson’s ex-assistant slams Erik ten Hag’s Man Utd: ‘No style of play, no club culture’

MORE: Erik ten Hag snubbed Ralf Rangnick at Manchester United – Sir Jim Ratcliffe can’t afford it

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