If the loss of points against Southampton wasn’t bad enough, Manchester United now need to play their next four games without the help of arguably the most important player, Casemiro. Casemiro’s red card became the focus of the draw last weekend and scared the Red Devils fans as much as dropping 2 points.
There is a little consolation for teachers and students Erik ten Hag. Despite the lack of players during the second half, the Old Trafford team still stood firm, even creating dangerous opportunities. Even without Casemiro, Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez played solidly, proving themselves to be the solid foundation from which the club almost won three points.
The standout was Martinez’s performance when he remained calm enough to not be drawn into risky situations. The special moment in the second half was enough to honor the value of the Argentine star.
A bad pass from Bruno Fernandes gives Che Adams possession of the ball. The Southampton striker made a pass through the Man Utd defense to let Kamaldeen Sulemana escape. He looked certain to keep possession on the edge of the box, before Martinez managed to run back and easily tackle without creating any rough fouls. The tackle of the former Ajax player not only ended the attack from the opponent and created an opportunity for Man Utd to deploy the ball forward.
This is a moment that reminds all of why Martinez has become so important to his host team. He showed why he could be the perfect solution to the dilemma coming to the Red Devils.
Martinez has made 22 appearances for Ajax as a holding midfielder, and with Casemiro serving a four-match domestic ban, the Argentina star should be considered by Ten Hag as a temporary replacement. . The 25-year-old finished the game against Southampton with 88% pass accuracy, 100% dribble accuracy and nine ball recoveries.
These stats need to be taken into consideration as the 2022 World Cup champions only face the worst attack in the Premier League, but it also shows that Martinez certainly possesses enough quality to make the switch.
Martinez’s defensive ability and composure on the ball provide a compelling reason to replace Casemiro, especially when Marcel Sabitzer, Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek are injured. And if Martinez is promoted higher, Man Utd has plenty of people to replace him at the heart of the defence. Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof or even Luke Shaw are ready to stand by Varane’s side.
Ten Hag has made many strange adjustments at Man Utd this season and it is not surprising if the Dutch leader allows Martinez to hold a new position in the next 4 domestic matches.
Lu Feng | 23:12 03/14/2023