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£39m Man Utd star 'desperate' to play against Arsenal, Ten Hag right to ignore request - View

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Man United handed massive injury boost as Lisandro Martinez returns to training

Manchester United centre-back Lisandro Martinez returned to full training earlier this week, but he won’t be involved in Sunday’s Premier League clash against Arsenal.

Manager Erik ten Hag revealed in yesterday’s press conference that the Argentine is so ‘desperate’ to face the Gunners, but he is not ready yet to return to first-team action.

He said: “Yesterday Licha came to me and he wanted to play on Sunday against Arsenal,” said the United boss on Friday. But he is not ready yet. He needs a little bit more time to go through the process, but he is so desperate.”

The Dutchman added that he can’t gamble with a player’s fitness and he has to take responsibility for it.

In our opinion, Ten Hag has made the right decision on the World Cup winner. Martinez has had an injury-plagued campaign where he has played only 761 minutes in 11 appearances.

The £39 million-rated star has missed a staggering 36 games with three separate injuries. The last of those came in late March. He returned from a knee issue only to suffer a calf strain after one outing.

United have had a fierce rivalry with Arsenal over the years and they will be determined to return to winning ways on Sunday while ending the Gunners’ slim prospects of lifting the title.

Martinez is keen to make his mark at Old Trafford, but the Red Devils can’t afford to rush him back and risk another injury which could put him out of the FA Cup final against Manchester City.

The Red Devils are currently eighth in the table and may need to win their remaining three league games against Arsenal, Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion to qualify for Europe.

It is not an assurance with their current run of form and the FA Cup final could present the best chance for United. A victory would assure silverware and a spot in the Europa League group stage.

Martinez could be key to their prospects of upsetting City at Wembley. United could be handed a further boost with Harry Maguire anticipated to recover from a muscle injury before the final.

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