Casemiro the 'happiest man alive' after completing Manchester United move
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Manchester United have been tipped to use Casemiro differently to how he was deployed during his spell at Real Madrid. The Brazil international moved to Old Trafford back in the summer transfer window for a huge £60million. However, he’s made just one start since as he battles to earn the trust of Erik ten Hag following his blockbuster arrival.
Manchester United had initially been eyeing Frenkie de Jong and Adrien Rabiot, of Barcelona and Juventus respectively.
But when it became clear deals for the duo would be difficult to broker, the Red Devils then proceeded to spend £60m on Casemiro instead.
The Brazil international has endured a slow start to life at United, making just one start so far.
And Spanish football expert Graham Hunter, speaking to United’s official website, believes he’ll be used differently to how he was used during his glittering spell at Real Madrid.
“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.
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“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.
“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.”
One person to recently criticise Casemiro, and the deal to sign him, was Graeme Souness.
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The former Liverpool star insisted the Brazilian has ‘never been a great player’, despite everything he’s won during his glittering career.
Yet another Spanish football expert, Tim Vickery, has dismissed that opinion.
“I saw Graeme Souness have a bit of a pop and say that Casemiro has never been a great player, but football isn’t an individual sport,” he said.
“It’s not a beauty contest. He may not be a great individualist, but he’s been a part of great teams and that’s why he’s going to United.
“He’s played with and under some truly great midfielders and he’s been totally shaped by them.
“He’s an elite player who sees himself as an elite player. He carries himself – again, in his own quiet way – with an aura about him and I think that will have a terrific impact on his team-mates at United.”
Casemiro will now be hoping to kick on at United.
He was given a first start against Real Sociedad on Thursday night, with the Red Devils slipping to defeat.
United were pencilled in to lock horns with Crystal Palace this Sunday, yet that match has been postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Instead, Casemiro will be hoping to feature when they face off against Sheriff on Thursday (5.45pm).
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