Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has reminded 2022 World Cup winner Lisandro Martinez that the Premier League is back.
The Manchester United manager reminded Lisandro Martinez that his commitment to Manchester United resumes in just a matter of days as the Premier League resumes on Boxing Day.
After winning the 2022 World Cup with Argentina, Martinez has spent time with his teammates celebrating a historic World Cup triumph.
Unlike his spell with the Red Devils, Lisandro Martinez was rarely used by Lionel Scaloni in Argentina’s World Cup campaign.
Despite his peripheral role in Albiceleste’s run to World Cup victory, Lisandro Martinez has been front and centre of their wild celebrations.
He is still in his homeland celebrating with his compatriots, with few signs of an imminent flight back to rainy Manchester. But Ten Hag, who brought the defender to Old Trafford in the summer, has warned him that he “has to accept” the hard work starts again after Christmas.
United will need to hit the ground running after the mid-season break, with their main ambition remaining a top-four finish. Their Premier League campaign resumes on December 27 when they face struggling Nottingham Forest before a trip to fellow relegation candidates Wolves on New Year’s Eve.
It remains to be seen whether Martinez, or France’s Raphael Varane will be involved in the festive fixtures, although Ten Hag has made it clear he expects their return sooner, rather than later.
“(Martinez) has been celebrating in Buenos Aires and I can understand that. It’s the highest you can achieve,” Ten Hag said. “But also, Lisandro Martinez has to accept that, on the 27th, the Premier League will go on.
Also speaking on Varane, Erik Ten Hag said, “Of course (Varane) is disappointed about losing, but I think also he can be proud that he was again in that final and of all that he achieved already in his career.”
Raphael Varane, unlike his Manchester United teammate, Lisandro Martinez, played a prominent role in France’s World Cup run to the final.
Another Manchester United player that has not returned to the Manchester United squad ahead of the Premier League’s resumption is Jadon Sancho. The England international is currently undertaking an individual training programme, with the United boss previously suggesting he was struggling mentally and physically.
Sancho’s tailored regime isn’t an exception. Ten Hag has revealed every individual has a specialised programme to help them reacclimate to domestic football. According to him, the club has a plan on how to manage the load of the players returning from the World Cup break.
“It is all individual-based, and nobody is the same or has the same programme”, he said.
Manchester United returned to action with a 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Burnley, booking their place in the last eight of the competition.
Erik Ten Hag has admitted Manchester United is targeting a top-four finish at the end of the season. The Red Devils will battle the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Newcastle for a place in top four.
They are 5th on the table with one outstanding match. The Red Devils have to beat last season’s nightmare to make it to the top four in the Premier League this season.