Manchester United were given a very fortunate get-out-of-jail-free card last night as a free header by Raphael Varane handed Erik ten Hag’s side a crucial win.

But his partner in defence, Lisandro Martinez, seemingly struggled to get involved in the game and at times looked rusty in the back four.

He was yellow-carded early on and from then on really struggled before he was substituted at half-time for Victor Lindelof.

The decision originally looked to be because of his booking but the real reason for the substitution has been revealed.

Varane spoke after the undeserved win and revealed the issue the Argentine was suffering with.

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‘Ankle tendon issue’

“A little problem on his ankle, tendon,” the French defender said when speaking to the BBC on their live blog. “We’ll see but I don’t think it’s a big deal. We’ll see how he is this week.”

This would be a huge blow for United as Martinez suffered a serious injury last season and missed the final month of the season. There could be a worry that the injury the Argentine suffered may well be because of the seriousness of the injury he suffered last season.

With United taking on Tottenham on Saturday, there will be hope that the World Cup winner will be back in time for the encounter.

Loss of Martinez will highlight issues at United

One of the big positives about Martinez is his ability to play the ball out from the back, progressing the ball through the thirds to start attacks.

The absence of Martinez may well highlight the lack of consistent ball progression. Andre Onana and Luke Shaw may well be the only players who can consistently progress the ball through the thirds.

This could accentuate the need for a new defender with Jean-Clair Todibo and Benjamin Pavard, who both are superb at progressing the ball, being linked with United.

Sofyan Amrabat also excels at this and after the poor performance from the midfield, the Moroccan may well be the next big target for the Old Trafford club.

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