The injury to Martinez dealt a significant blow to Manchester United’s defensive setup, disrupting what seemed to be a promising partnership with Harry Maguire.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Raphael Varane’s future at Old Trafford, Martinez and Maguire appeared to be forming a solid defensive duo, a pairing that could have been crucial for the remainder of the season.

Unfortunately, Martinez’s injury, sustained in a clash with Vladimir Coufal, raised concerns about the severity of the situation. Despite his efforts to soldier on, Martinez was unable to continue, leaving United to cope without his presence on the field.

Martinez’s absence had been keenly felt since his initial foot injury in September, and his recent return in mid-January had brought a sense of stability to United’s defense. His ability to maintain possession and build from the back was unmatched among the squad’s center-backs, making his loss all the more significant.

Erik ten Hag, who had just begun to enjoy the luxury of a fully fit defensive lineup, must now face the challenge of reshuffling his backline once again. With Maguire returning to the starting lineup after a spell on the sidelines and Victor Lindelof also back in contention, Martinez’s injury comes as a setback just as the squad was nearing full strength.

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