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Casemiro: What are Manchester United getting in the Real Madrid midfielder?

Will Casemiro’s acquisition prove to be a genius blow for Manchester United, or will it be another costly blunder?

Hollywood director Cecil B. DeMille is said to have turned him into a star without anyone finding out. Manchester United have spent a lot of time getting stars and making them less than they used to since Sir Alex Ferguson left six full-time managers nearly nine years ago.

Whether the 30-year-old defensive midfielder, who has won five Champions League titles, ends up becoming a superstar or a superflop, the only certainty is that he will spend a lot of money on the club. is.

Paying him £350,000 a week would allow United to nearly double his Real Madrid wages, making him the club’s third highest earner behind Cristiano Ronaldo and David De Gea. became.

But is it money well spent?

Casemiro (center) has enjoyed great success playing in Real Madrid’s midfield alongside Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

Who is Casemiro and what did Man United see in him?

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has dubbed the trio of Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ of football.

That setup added value to Casemiro, but just as importantly, it masked his limitations.

Casemiro has always felt comfortable defending near the box and has played a key role in providing cover for his teammates. But he never overcomplicated things. This is due to his inability to initiate strong runs and his lack of dribbling ability. A simple ball to Modric or Kroos has always been the perfect solution.

Ancelotti understood that the lack of dynamism in the partnership meant the team would have to defend in depth and only apply high pressure at times, much like Zinedine Zidane did before him. rice field.

Rather than risk losing him to the Portuguese club, Real Madrid gave €7 million to bring back the young Casemiro from a loan spell in Porto in 2015 under then-boss Rafa Benitez. paid.

He was a hard worker, eager to learn and humble, but president Florentino Pérez wanted a midfield composed of Kroos and James Rodriguez or Isco. The low-key Casemiro added some of that balance, but was also error-prone.

Benitez eventually left, and after two months under Zidane before losing to Atlético Madrid, the French coach wanted to know what Benitez had been telling him all along: the limits of the club’s defence. It convinced me that I needed a Casemiro to cover the .

His 11 appearances in the Champions League that season came as he played the full 120 minutes in the final against Atlético Madrid as Real Madrid won their 11th title on penalties after a 1–1 draw. We’ve reached a climax.

And the rest is history.

How will he fare at Manchester United?

Casemiro’s lack of pace will be exposed if Eric ten Hag stays true to his high pressure philosophy and maintains a high defensive line.

He lacks the ability to control the space behind him, mainly because he is so slow in turns. can be expensive.

Madrid’s compact set-up masked a weakness in Casemiro’s game. Due to the low quality around him in the Brazilian national team, he had no influence. If he is expected to drive with the ball, that could be a problem for United when he faces high-pressure teams.

Ancelotti has asked him to come forward more often and take on an attacking midfield role at times. Will add a goal from United’s midfield – he has a powerful shot and is a great ball header.

He’s a leader and a winner who reads the game very well, and the British referees will show he’s more forgiving of his dogged approach than he’s used to.

Despite living on the edge of his own box and being the best defensive midfielder in a system of attacking as a unit at a slower pace, he now sees games being played at a much faster tempo and mostly out of the team. is faster and stronger than he is used to.

It will be a case for Ten Hag to find the right balance to make new arrivals fit in as well as possible.

per 90 minutes Casemiro fred McTominay fernandez Van de Beek Eriksen
pass complete 54.9 49.3 39.5 43.1 40.9 42.2
chance created 0.8 1.1 0.8 2.8 0.8 2.9
Dribble done 0.9 0.9 1.3 0.8 0.8 0.8
Tackle win 1.7 1.2 1.1 0.8 1.8 0.6
won the duel 8.0 5.6 7.3 4.2 5.8 2.8
intercept 1.5 1.4 1.3 0.5 1.5 0.9

If he decides to take on Casemiro in a 4-2-3-1 alongside Fred or Scott McTominay, Ten Hag has the physical side but lacks control. If Bruno Fernandes played next to Christian Eriksen in front, they would be in control but without a physical presence.

Casemiro will improve the squad, but I doubt he alone will make much of a difference for United. He excels as a defensive midfielder, but more consistently than a match-winner he’s an 8-of-10 player.

What is certain is that they need to improve their midfield quality. Therefore, the quest to acquire Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona must continue aggressively. Casemiro may not be enough to help them move up the standings.

In Madrid, Casemiro won it all. Now he has to compete, get used to not being in the lead all the time and get used to defeats and crises when Manchester United are trying to find the right path.

But you can’t survive and ultimately win without building the strongest in the bare pits like Real Madrid. Has mental strength.

Who will replace him at Real Madrid?

Despite a successful start to the season, Casemiro has cut back on offers to the club over the past year and a half. It may be a matter of course. Player attrition in that most demanding defensive midfield role is considerable.

Real Madrid know that with Antonio Rudiger stepping into centre-back, David Alaba can easily fit into the role for the time being.

There are also parallels to Casemiro’s return to Real Madrid at the age of 23 and the purchase of 22-year-old Aurélien Chuameni for €80 million seven years later.

These figures suggest that Chuameni was never acquired just to top up the numbers. Despite a disappointing performance in his league debut against Almería over the weekend, he is clearly one of the best young defensive midfielders in Europe and capable of closing the considerable gap left by Casemiro. are sufficiently equipped.

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