Erik ten Hag sends frustrated Lisandro Martinez message over World Cup 2022 celebrations


Erik ten Hag has admitted he has been frustrated by Lisandro Martinez’s slow return to Manchester United after the World Cup.

Martinez returned to his homeland to join the celebrations following their World Cup final triumph over France and is yet to return to Manchester, with The Hag believing the centre-back will not be available when United take on Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.

While admitting he was happy for Martinez, The Hag warned the defender that he needs to get back to club football very quickly.

“[Martinez] is still celebrating in Argentina,” Ten Hag began. “I understand it’s very emotional. Winning the World Cup for your country is the highest you can be.

“But also Martinez has to accept that on the 27th the Premier League will be back [for United].”

The Hag also expects to be without fellow centre-back Raphael Varane, who also played in the final for France.

“Obviously Varane is disappointed but he can also be proud to be in the final and everything he has achieved in his career already is huge – winning so many trophies,” added the boss. “He can still be proud. Getting to the finals is a huge achievement. His nation was so close.

“We have a plan [for all players]. Everything is on an individual basis. No one is the same or has the same schedule or minutes. It depends on their positions and the age of the players.

“We all know the restart was five or six days after the World Cup final. Everyone has to be ready and accept it. The manager and coach, of course, but also the players – they have to accept it.

“They want trophies. We talked about tough competition and we have to be ready for it and deal with it, do it smartly and hopefully get the right performance and results.”

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