Manchester United are facing a major conundrum ahead of the summer transfer window, with several positions in need of reinforcements but limited resources to address all of them. Manager Erik ten Hag is said to have prioritized the signing of an elite striker and a creative midfielder, as well as cover for right-back, centre-back, and goalkeeper.
However, the situation at defensive midfield is becoming a cause for concern, as there is a noticeable drop in quality when Casemiro is not available. The Brazilian has been United's most transformational player this season, and the team has won only half of their 10 Premier League matches without him.
Given their priorities lie elsewhere, United are unlikely to address their needs for an alternative this summer, meaning they will still have an overreliance on Casemiro next season unless they can find an internal solution.
One potential option could be Lisandro Martinez, the Argentine defender who has been a key player for United this season. Although he has yet to play in defensive midfield due to his importance in central defense, Ten Hag sees him as a crucial cog in the United team given his unique traits as a left-footed center-back who can break up attacks as well as he builds them.
During their time together at Ajax, Ten Hag claimed Martinez 'did not have the running capacity' to play in midfield, but since moving to United, he appears to be more open to such a position switch. Martinez himself is also open to the idea, saying, "I will play wherever the coach wants to use me. I will always be available."
The reality is that while Martinez is certainly an option in defensive midfield, he has only ever played there in 22 competitive matches, so he is not necessarily an improvement on the other candidates United have. The only way to know for sure would be by giving him a chance to go there and see for themselves.
With United facing a tight budget this summer, they may need to be creative and look inward to solve their defensive midfield problems. Martinez's versatility could provide the answer, and United fans will be hoping to see him make a positive impact in the center of the park in the near future.