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Why is Lisandro Martinez not playing? A number of Manchester United fans have been asking after he was named on the bench against Manchester City.
Erik ten Hag has decided to leave the Argentina international out of his starting XI once again as the Dutchman welcomes Pep Guardiola to Old Trafford this afternoon.
Luke Shaw has been selected to start alongside Raphael Varane in the centre of defence, despite the fact the England international usually lines up at left-back.
So, why is Martinez not playing? Let’s take a look…
Well, the South American has simply lost his place in the starting XI after being given an extended holiday, due to Argentina’s win over France in the World Cup final.
While Martinez was celebrating back home alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Shaw was given a chance to start at centre-back with Tyrell Malacia chosen to start at left-back.
Manchester United are yet to lose a game since club football resumed, so Ten Hag clearly feels there is no reason to change a winning side by bringing his No.6 back into the starting XI.
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Martinez has started 14 Premier League games so far this season for the Red Devils.
Some may be fearing that the 24-year-old will become frustrated by losing his place in the starting XI.
However, Martinez has actually admitted that he enjoys the competition for places under Ten Hag.
The Argentine told Sky Sports: “I like when there’s competition for places, I think it’s a positive. The vibe and the atmosphere in the dressing room is really positive and I’m proud we’re on this good run. It shows we are on the right road and we are making progress.”
We can understand why Ten Hag doesn’t want to change a winning side, although we doubt it will be long until he brings his £56.7m signing back into the starting lineup – he is too good to leave out.
We believe it will only take one or two defeats for the Dutchman to move Shaw back to the left of defence, and reinstate Martinez alongside Varane in the centre.
Whatever happens, it is a positive for Ten Hag to have plenty of options at Old Trafford.
In other news, Newcastle transfer news: Moukoko makes Borussia Dortmund decision