The 26-year-old had just returned from a four-month absence in January after missing most of 2023 with a foot injury that required two surgeries. He appeared to suffer a knee problem in a tangle with Hammers right-back Vladimir Coufal in the second half of Sunday’s triumph, United’s fifth in seven games. United are now awaiting the diagnosis but face going without their first-choice centre-back for an extended period shortly after regaining his services.
Ahead of the West Ham victory, Smith hailed Martinez’s return, emphasizing the World Cup winner’s character. “You look at the personnel – I think having Martinez coming back is great because he looks like a real winner and a leader in the dressing room,” Smith told BritishGambler.co.uk. Smith also highlighted the scrutiny faced by clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Barcelona.
He added that Martinez carries intensity and determination, resembling the type of player that would run through a brick wall for the team. According to Smith, Martinez is the type of player that fans can relate to, fostering a good connection with them. Ten Hag now joins the fanbase in praying for the best ahead of a crunch period, including trips to Aston Villa, Luton Town, and Manchester City.