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SOCCER

Casemiro’s unexpected start to life at Manchester United

Since joining United from Real Madrid, Casemiro only has one start in a month.

Update:
Soccer Football - International Friendly - Brazil v Ghana - Stade Oceane, Le Havre, France - September 23, 2022  Brazil's Casemiro reacts REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
BENOIT TESSIERREUTERS

While Real Madrid’s midfielders are on a roll, Casemiro has had to take on an unexpected situation at Manchester United. Just yesterday he completed a month in Manchester and although his signing was greeted with joy among the Mancunian fans and the club spent €72 million (plus €13m in variables) for him, Erik ten Hag hasn’t given the Brazilian perhaps the start he was expecting.

From Old Trafford, positive and even exciting comments have been filtering out about Casemiro. In a month, he has only started one game, in the Europa League and United lost at home to Real Sociedad. He has yet to start in the Premier League.

Twenty days ago, Ten Hag said, “Casemiro is new in the team and has to adapt. He has to get used to the way I play football. Also, McTominay is playing very well...”.

Casemiro warms up in Tiraspol, where he was a substitute in United's match against Sheriff in the Europa League.
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Casemiro warms up in Tiraspol, where he was a substitute in United's match against Sheriff in the Europa League.Oleg BilsagaevGetty

The case is all the more glaring because Antony, who he [Ten Hag] did sign personally because he knew him from Ajax and was also a big investment (€100 million), became a starter almost as soon as he got off the plane. He has started all three games in which he has been available, including an important game for United, the 3-1 win over Arsenal before the break for the death of the Queen.

In Tiraspol, Casemiro came on after the break when his side were already 2-0 up against Sheriff and had the game under control. Against the Gunners, it was more of the same. He came on in the 80th minute with United leading 3-1.

The Brazilian is doing his part to adapt. He has started taking English lessons and found a home in the days following his signing. His and United’s commitment is long-term (until 2026). Some United legends questioned whether his signing was right (“Is he the right signing? I don’t think so,” Wayne Rooney wrote). Paul Scholes said, “He’ll break through eventually, but it’s going to take him a while”.

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