Ten Hag has Grade A plan to cover for Casemiro ban with shock new role suggested for Man Utd favourite

Casemiro of Manchester United Credit: Alamy
Casemiro of Manchester United Credit: Alamy

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag will have little trouble covering for the absence of Casemiro with the Red Devils boss tipped to consider a crafty new position for a star player among his options.

Brazilian star Casemiro has been a superb addition for United since a £70m summer move from Real Madrid. And while not the club’s first-choice midfield addition, he has more than proved his worth with a string of commanding displays. Indeed, the 31-year-old will surely be among the contenders to win the 2023 Footballer of the Year.

However, Carabao Cup success aside, the last few matches Casemiro has appeared in have not gone to plan. After seeing red in a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace in February, Casemiro was forced to serve a three-match ban.

His return to Premier League action, almost a month later, saw Casemiro on the wrong end of a 7-0 scoreline at Liverpool.

To make matters worse, he was then sent off again during Sunday’s disappointing 0-0 draw with Southampton. That will mean the Brazilian is now forced to serve a four-match ban, with it being his second dismissal of the season. As a result, he will now sit out matches against Fukham, Newcastle, Brentford and Everton.

Casemiro’s latest ban will certainly hit United hard. Indeed, this feature suggests the suspension could even damage United’s quest to finish in the Champions League places.

However, the one thing United are blessed with is solid squad depth.

And with Scott McTominay returning from injury recently, together with the rejuvenation of Fred and arrival of Marcel Sabitzer, United should have enough to cover.

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Man Utd could use Bruno Fernandes in Casemiro role

However, pundit Alan Hutton also suggests Ten Hag could go with a maverick choice. And, speaking to Football Insider, he reckons even Bruno Fernandes could be asked to do a job for United in a deeper role.

Either way, he is convinced United will cope fine without their inspirational Brazilian midfielder.

“It is not ideal but I think they have got strength and depth there,” he said.

“I think he has made them a far better team this season. He is like the glue that sticks everything together.

“But the likes of Fred, he has done well enough, [Scott] McTominay is also there.”

Turning his attention to the prospect of Bruno Fernandes dropping deeper, Hutton explained his thinking.

“Fernandes can sit in that position as well if it is needed.”

With Casemiro suffering a second red in just three Premier League outings, some have suggested the Brazilian may need to adapt his game.

Indeed, having gone eight seasons without a red in LaLiga, he now has two in quick succession for United.

Hutton, however, insists there is no need for Casemiro to alter his style.

“It is not ideal but they will just have to get used to it. He is not going to change his style of play. That is just the way he is.

“I think Ten Hag will have something up his sleeve.”

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