Ten Hag: Martinez ‘needs to accept’ Manchester United return amid World Cup celebrations

Erik ten Haag says World Cup winner Lisandro Martinez will resume Manchester United’s Premier League campaign on December 27.

The centre-back is currently celebrating Argentina’s victory in Buenos Aires and has featured in five of his country’s seven games in the competition.

Martinez missed United’s 2-0 win over Burnley in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. United play Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

Asked if Martinez would be available, Ten Haag replied: “I can’t answer that question now – he’s still celebrating in Buenos Aires!

“He’s going around Buenos Aires and I can understand because it’s emotional when you achieve this and bring the World Cup to your country.

“It’s great and the highest you can achieve. But Licha Martinez has to accept that the Premier League will resume on the 27th.

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola says Julian Alvarez will not return to Manchester City for at least a week, while Alexis McAllister says he will not play for Brighton and Hove Albion before the New Year.

Ten Haag were asked how Varane felt after losing in the final. The defense suffered a loss in the final minutes of overtime.

“He’s disappointed to lose in the final, but he can be proud to be in the final again,” replied the Dutch coach. “His achievements in football are huge. When a player like Rafa wins so many trophies and finishes second, he can still be proud because reaching the final is a huge achievement.

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“The level of countries was very close and they came to the final and even in the final they were very close.”

With the World Cup ending and United’s campaign only five days away, the ten Hague also revealed the difficulties of planning for the restart, which includes personal training schedules.

“We had a plan of how to do it and how to manage the load of players,” he said. “It all depends on the individual and no one has the same or the same program.

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“Nobody has the same minutes as they play in different positions and at different ages. We tried to make an individual plan for each person.

But we all know that the restart is five days after the World Cup final and we all know that the Premier League resumes quickly after the World Cup.

“Everybody has to be ready for that, so you have to accept that – that’s for the coach, the coaches and the players.”

Although United have one game in hand against Tottenham Hotspur, they are in 5th place in the Premier League.

Go deeper

Go deeper

Messi’s voice, a lucky Aguero and plenty of meat: how Argentina won the World Cup.

(Photo: Getty Images)


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