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How Manchester United could line up with Casemiro

The midfielder would join a team lacking leaders, which suffers too much in defense. Alongside Fred, a midfield buffer made in Brazil could help.

How Manchester United could line up with Casemiro

Erik ten Hag wanted a leader for his new project at Manchester United, and Carlos Henrique Casemiro could be the man he was looking for. That said, who knows what United are actually doing, jumping between the likes of De Jong and Rabiot amongst others before (probably) ending up with the Brazilian. A clear playing style and team requirement may be missing, but a proven winner is without doubt.

What Casemiro could do to United midfield

After seven years and five Champions League titles with Real Madrid, the defensive midfielder would make a leap in quality to the midfield of the Mancunian team, one which has experienced its worst start in the last 30 years. The arrival of the 30-year old would have the Red Devils hoping to gain in both character and leadership, two qualities that have been missing at Old Trafford in recent years despite the big names and huge fees paid out in that time. After last season, when United failed to qualify for UEFA’s top competition, rumours began circling about some of the team’s mainstays, including Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo. Convincing the effective midfielder to step away from football’s top table could change the mood.

So, with the deal seemingly being finalised, attention has turned to how this could change the first choice XI. Doubts over Maguire could see the captain’s armband switched to David de Gea, although the Spanish goalkeeper is not going through his best time of it either and Ten Hag has suggested that he’s happy to continue with his defender for the time being. However, with the opening season defeats against Brighton and Brentford, Varane may be bumped up the pecking order to link up with his former teammate again, and the Englishman may be the one to lose out.

Either way, the incorporation of Casemiro would serve to improve the Red Devils’ work without the ball, for whom it is proving very difficult to maintain a measured level of pressure. In that sense, the Brazilian holder could order United’s defensive lines, being used to playing with a 4-2-3-1 formation, allowing more freedom for the creative players ahead of him.

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And despite the fact that in Madrid he was not used to playing as a double pivot, Casemiro often does it with Brazil, and on top of that with Fred by his side. In this way, the EPL side could recreate that duo, with the burden of defensive work falling to Casemiro. This is something that United fans have been screaming for, convinced that the Fred-McTominay pairing was never going to pay off.

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Despite the surprising aspect of the signing, Casemiro’s move would almost certainly guarantee an immediate uplift in performance for Ten Hag. And he really needs it after the start they’ve had. That said, up next is a visit from Liverpool who, having had a couple of poor results themselves, will be looking to get their title challenge back on track at Old Trafford. For that reason, and the time needed to cross T’s and dot I’s, it may be that the Brazilian does not feature.

When he does, the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen can expect to get a new lease of life, in the same way that the likes of Modric and Kroos benefited from their midfield battler-with-style. If the undoubted creative talent of the team can be reignited, the season could be turned on its head. Casemiro is certainly not a long-term solution, but it could help the club flip fortunes in the coming months and allow for some momentum to be built.

Then again, across the last decade United fans have had a lot of hope with each new signing, only to be left very, very disappointed...