Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag has two roles planned for Casemiro despite lack of game time | Football | Sport


Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag sees Casemiro as a ‘destroyer’ and a ‘link between the club’s defence and midfield’, according to reports. The Brazil international has started just once since arriving from Real Madrid back in the summer transfer window. Scott McTominay has been preferred instead, with the 25-year-old starting to come good in the middle of the park.

Manchester United forked out a huge £60million on Casemiro after giving up on Frenkie de Jong, who had been their preferred transfer target.

Yet the Brazil international is yet to hit the ground running in the Premier League, having spent the majority of his time at Old Trafford stuck on the bench.

Casemiro has started just once for United, in last week’s 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad, while he was then dropped for the 2-0 victory over Sheriff on Thursday.

According to Goal, however, Ten Hag has two plans for the 30-year-old in mind.

One is that of operating as a destroyer, with Casemiro previously a bulldozing figure during his time in Spain.

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And the other is a link between defence and midfield, with the Brazil international set to be given more action after the international break.

The report says that United did originally want De Jong to join, having been emboldened by Ten Hag’s positive relationship with the 25-year-old.

But Casemiro was always on their list and the Red Devils had been working on a deal for the veteran months before an agreement was eventually struck.

United are next in action against Manchester City on October 2, where they’ll be hoping to keep the heat on their fierce rivals at the top of the Premier League table.

And Casemiro, as a player tailor-made for the big occasion, will be hoping to start ahead of McTominay in that fixture.

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United are hopeful the Samba star and Christian Eriksen will soon strike up a good connection together as they look to win a first Premier League title since 2013.

But with McTominay currently excelling in the middle of the park, there’s no guarantee Casemiro will come into the fold for that mouthwatering showdown.

Spanish football expert Graham Hunter, meanwhile, recently opened up on Casemiro and how United should use the veteran.

“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,” he said.

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

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“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.

“He’s got a tremendous competitive character and football brain. He’s a footballer who understands when to take chances, when to take opportunities.

“He understands very quickly if he’s going to be beaten, if a team-mate’s going to be beaten, in terms of knowing in that split-second where everybody is in midfield.

“He makes a lot of challenges, not because he’s not quick enough, but because he’s very good in that streetwise way of evaluating whether or not the situation can cost his team a goal.

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“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.

“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.”

United lost both games to City in the Premier League last term.

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