Racing striker Lautaro Martínez a World Cup doubt for Argentina under-20s

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Argentina under-20s are sweating over the fitness of star striker Lautaro Martínez after the Racing striker limped out of training on Wednesday with a hamstring injury.

The 19-year-old has been ruled out of Racing’s Primera clash with Temperley on Saturday but more importantly for Argentina, Claudio Ubeda’s squad are due to travel to Vietnam on May 6th for the final warm-up matches ahead of the World Cup in South Korea.

According to Racing’s official website: “Lautaro Martínez suffered a muscular injury during Argentina under-20 training, for which he didn’t train today and that studies carried out this afternoon determine a distension in the semimembranosus muscle (hamstring) of his right leg.”

However, Argentina contest this claim and have said that any injury suffered by Martínez was not with them, suspecting that Racing want to find a way of not releasing the talented striker.

“We look after Lautaro more than Racing,” said Fernando Batista, assistant to head coach Claudio Ubeda.

“On Tuesday we were with him and I did not see any injuries.”

The subject of clubs not wanting players to leave during the season to participate in the under-20 World Cup has been in the headlines over the past week with Boca Juniors and Independiente both reluctant to release key first team players.

With barely a week before the squad are due to depart an injury to Martínez would be a major blow to Argentina’s hopes in South Korea. La Albiceleste are already outsiders after an underwhelming Sudamericano but the Racing striker was one of the few players to leave Ecuador with his reputation enhanced and the youngster has since carried that form into the Primera with six goals this season.

 

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