Why Casemiro has been such a key player for Man United

Casemiro has undoubtedly been one of the best signings of the season, regardless of club. He has also been among the best business Manchester United have done in the past decade or so. Many believe that no new signing has had as much impact for United since Nemanja Vidic was signed in 2006.

However, Casemiro has also been guilty of being a bit impulsive at times. He has seen a couple of red cards that have done some damage to United’s prospects. In fact, Manchester United have lost only four of the 37 matches in which Casemiro has featured in. But their winning ratio drops to around 40% without the 31-year-old defensive midfielder.

The Brazilian is currently serving a four-match ban after he was sent off against Southampton three weeks ago.

Casemiro shepherding the defense

When Casemiro is not sitting on the top of the defense, he positions himself between the two center-backs to give additional cover to the defenders. None of the other defensive midfielders in United’s are able to do so at the same level. Scott McTominay gives cover to the full backs at times while Fred comes up with timely tackles in the defensive third at times. But neither possess the finesse and composure that Casemiro has.

Marcel Sabitzer is more comfortable playing higher up the pitch and cannot be expected to drop down to do defensive work in and around the penalty box. Hence, Manchester United’s defense has looked a bit vulnerable whenever Casemiro has not played.

The Brazilian’s calmness on the ball also means that United retain the ball much easier with him in the side. As a result, Manchester United has looked a lesser side whenever Casemiro has not featured.

Playing probing through balls with ease

As mentioned earlier, none of the other defensive midfielders in United’s ranks have the finesse that Casemiro has. This has been proven by the Brazilian’s ability to find his teammates with incisive through passes, which have led to goals on a several occasions.

In fact, the Brazilian has registered four assists this season, while Sabitzer, Fred and McTominay have just two assists combined. Casemiro’s ability to play long passes has suited United’s counter-attacking style quite well and the team has benefitted from it.

Sabitzer, who may join United permanently next season, is also a good passer, but is more comfortable playing shorter passes and is not quite comfortable playing long balls.

Fred has the ability to score stunning goals with shots from the edge of the opposition’s penalty box, but that does not happen often.

McTominay is a physical specimen and can play the box-to-box role, but again does not quite have the requisite ball-skills to play the role of a provider.

It is no secret that Erik ten Hag depends on Casemiro. Thus, The Brazilian will have to check his instincts at times to help United’s cause of finishing in the top four. United will need his presence to achieve a top-four finish in the Premier League and to have a serious attempt at winning the Europa League and the FA Cup.

Related articles


Share article

Latest articles