Ten Hag handed ‘impossible’ Casemiro claim as expert outlines ‘absolutely wrong’ perception of Man Utd man

·3-min read
Casemiro, Man Utd v Real Sociedad September 2022 Credit: PA Images
Casemiro, Man Utd v Real Sociedad September 2022 Credit: PA Images

Casemiro has all the tools he needs to adapt to the Premier League and add serious mettle to the Manchester United midfield, one expert believes.

The Red Devils spent £70million to bring the Brazilian to Old Trafford following a drawn-out chase for a midfielder. Manager Erik ten Hag originally wanted Frenkie de Jong, but a deal proved difficult.

And after United’s season got off to a bad start with two defeats in a row, Man Utd turned the screw and added Casemiro to their squad instead.

The 30-year-old has yet to start for his new club in the Premier League. Scott McTominay has kept his place in the team. One pundit claimed recently that Casemiro could question Ten Hag’s methods if he continued to play a bit-part role.

However, Spanish football expert Graham Hunter has insisted that it will not take Casemiro long to begin making his mark. Hunter, who watched the midfielder at Real Madrid, has backed the player to impress.

“Unique is a big word, but Real Madrid’s style is so unique that it’s impossible that Casemiro plays identically to how he’s done in his glory years with them,” the expert said.

“I don’t think that’s the way he’s going to be asked to play at United, though.

“I’m very hopeful that he will adapt to what’s around him. He’s proven to be a genuine winner. He has been central to a Real Madrid side which has been there or thereabouts in La Liga and the Champions League for a long time.”

Hunter added that Casemiro has a “tremendous competitive character” and understands defensive situations “very quickly”.

As for his discipline, the expert then noted that the midfielder has only received two red cards in his career.

Casemiro given exciting verdict

“He is a player who will unquestionably balance up making a foul and the wider cost, but it’s absolutely wrong to call him a dirty player,” Hunter said in his interview with United’s official website.

“He’s been sent off twice – and once was for refusing to back up for a free-kick, so he’s not a dirty player.

“He brings street smarts and cojones in midfield, he’s got a good physique, he’s pretty damn good aerially at both ends, so he’s tremendously well equipped.

“The Premier League can be buzz-bomb relentless, so it takes any player time to adapt, whether they’re magical like Casemiro or not; but for aggression, mentality and character then United have definitely got the right guy.”

Casemiro played 336 times for Real Madrid, chipping in with 31 goals and 29 assists.

The Brazil international helped win five Champions League titles and three La Liga crowns, among other silverware.

Man Utd deal sparks debate

United have faced criticism for their transfer strategy in recent years and the Casemiro deal also sparked questions.

At 30 years of age, he is not a long-term option who can make the midfield role his own and dominate for years. Indeed, the Brazilian has already done that with Real Madrid.

But having proven his worth for so many years, what United are getting is the finished product and is already at the top of his game. And that means he can hit the ground running.

United needed someone like that, who can come in and make an immediate impact. Their midfield faced serious questions last season and Casemiro has added some vital experience.

He will know that chances to start games will keep on coming. United face a busy Thursday-Sunday schedule with the Europa League, with Casemiro starting against Real Sociedad on Thursday.

However, it is the Premier League which he will soon look to get his teeth stuck into.

And once he settles, United will hope to get the best of a player who continues to earn rave reviews.

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