Argentina’s head coach, Lionel Scaloni, has hinted at the possibility of excluding Manchester United’s Lisandro Martinez from the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Ecuador.
The South American champions are set to kick off their title defense with a home fixture in the early hours of Friday (UK time), as they embark on their journey towards the 2026 tournament hosted in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
In the continent’s section, six automatic berths are at stake for the prestigious event, and Scaloni retains his role as the guiding force after leading the nation to glory in Qatar.
Martinez had showcased his excellence while representing Manchester United in their clash against Arsenal. However, his stellar performance was cut short when he was forced to leave the pitch in the 67th minute, citing discomfort in his foot, which prompted Harry Maguire to replace him.
Following the match, Reds’ manager Erik ten Hag expressed uncertainty regarding whether it was an injury. Nevertheless, Martinez fulfilled his commitment to join his national team as planned.
Addressing the situation, Scaloni explained, “Licha, as you know, had an issue with his feet. In the last game at Arsenal, he was in pain and went out for precaution. They have conducted examinations, and he’s in good health.”
Scaloni went on to state, “We will assess whether to include him in the squad or not. Initially, for tomorrow’s match, it might be a bit hasty. We will make a decision regarding the second match.”
The team’s next encounter will be an away game against Bolivia on Tuesday, marking Argentina’s first fixture on the road in the South American section.
Additionally, Alejandro Garnacho is also part of the squad and has the opportunity to enhance his reputation by showcasing his skills on the grand stage. According to local reports, the young talent from Manchester United is likely to be among the substitutes for the match against Ecuador