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Erik ten Hag's star Man United man could be crucial to INEOS decision - and key stat proves it

Manchester United are still mulling over the future of Erik ten Hag as their review of the 2023/24 season continues.

The Dutchman faces an uncertain future at Old Trafford after United finished eighth in the Premier League, their lowest top-flight finish since 1989/90. May's FA Cup final win has aided Ten Hag's case, but the club are known to have been talking to other potential candidates with Sir Jim Ratcliffe said to have met Thomas Tuchel in Monaco.

But things could have been so different if Lisandro Martinez had stayed fit. The Argentine was a vital component to everything United did well in Ten Hag's first season at the club. His partnership alongside Raphael Varane helped the Red Devils finish third and win the Carabao Cup.

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But Martinez made just 14 appearances across the 23/24 campaign as injury issues wreaked havoc on his season. United badly missed his leadership qualities in central defence with his strong performance against City at Wembley demonstrating what has been missing.

And the 26-year-old was again displaying his skills on Sunday night after achieving a 100 percent pass success rate in Argentina's 1-0 friendly win over Ecuador. Martinez's ball-playing abilities are unlike anything else United have in his position, and that could be crucial in the way Ten Hag will want his team to play if he remains in charge.

Ten Hag's signings have largely been questionable with Antony struggling badly since joining from Ajax. But Martinez can not be put in the same category despite his injury record.