Lisandro Martinez‘s excellent form for Manchester United has lined the centre-back up for a big World Cup with Argentina.

His strong performances in qualifying for his country have also proven his quality, but as reported by South American outlet Bitbol, Martinez has not entirely established himself as first choice.

Manager Lionel Scaloni’s first choice duo are reported to be Tottenham’s Cristian Romero, and Benfica’s Nicolas Otamendi.

Injuries to the pairing provided ample opportunities for Martinez during World Cup qualifying, but when all three are fit, there is a dilemma for Scaloni.

Bitbol report the ‘tremendous’ performances of Lisandro Martinez have given Scaloni a selection headache, albeit a positive one.

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Martinez in pole position

Martinez is in pole position to start for Argentina, with Romero recently suffering an injury which kept him out of Tottenham’s defeat to Liverpool at the weekend.

One of Martinez’s many strengths is his durability. He has started every single league match for Manchester United so far this season.

The former Ajax man is a player Argentina can rely on. Injuries meant Scaloni could only select Romero and Otamendi together in a total of nine out of 25 World Cup qualifiers.

During this time Martinez really proved himself, with Argentina going unbeaten through the qualifiers, establishing himself as a regular.

Really the dilemma should be ‘who partners Martinez’, just like at Manchester United. Early in the summer there were questions over how he might fit into the team – now the club’s centre-backs are all competing to partner him in Erik ten Hag’s defence, even the club captain.

It would not be a surprise if Martinez ends up starting every game for his country in Qatar, just like he almost has for United.

Except tonight, his impressive recent record might come to an end for the Red Devils, with rotation likely in the first Carabao Cup match of the season.

If the centre-back is given the chance to sit this game out, it will be well deserved, ahead of one last league match before the break this weekend, away at Fulham.

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