Man United have turned their attention to signing Real Madrid’s Casemiro and the midfielder would be a brilliant addition.
Manchester United approached Real Madrid about the possibility of signing Casemiro this week. The club’s recruitment strategy has been lamentable this summer, but there’s no denying that Casemiro would be an outstanding signing, albeit a desperate signing.
There has been no consistency with the recruitment in this window. United have scrambled around the market and they have spent more money on John Murtough’s travel expenses than they have on midfielders. Christian Eriksen, who has been the only midfield addition, cost nothing. The interest in Casemiro has seemingly emerged from nowhere and that has been a feature of the summer.
Although the circumstances that led the club to approach Real Madrid about Casemiro – making no progress with Frenkie de Jong and failing to agree terms with Adrien Rabiot – have been amateur, he would represent the most important signing of the summer at Old Trafford, which is ironic considering the Reds’ interest in the player has been a consequence of the club’s failures elsewhere.
Casemiro has been world-class in defensive midfielder during his nine years spent with Real Madrid. Casemiro has won five Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles among other domestic major honours, and he has been instrumental in that success.
Madrid defeated Liverpool in the Champions League final in May and Casemiro proved with that performance that he remains an outstanding, specialist operator in defensive midfield. The 30-year-old looks set to have many years remaining at the elite level.
So, why would he want to leave Madrid? United have suffered two humiliating defeats against Brighton and Brentford this season and they’re set to play Europa League football, which is a competition Casemiro has never been reduced to playing in.
United are hardly an attractive proposition, but Madrid have signed young defensive midfielders Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni over the last year and Casemiro is facing competition to start, while he would become one of the highest earners at Old Trafford should he make the move. Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane are also known to be the midfielder’s close friends.
Although Casemiro will know swapping the Bernabeu for Old Trafford is currently a backwards step, there are motives that explain why he would consider such a move. Those will have to negate Thursday night matches against teams like Lech Poznan.
On the contrary, the reasons why United want to sign Casemiro aren’t difficult to explain. United desperately need a defensive midfielder and they would be signing one of Europe’s finest players in that position, despite him being in the latter stage of his career.
Casemiro would immediately improve Erik ten Hag’s side and he would bring some much-needed balance as the anchor of a three-man midfield. Fred and Scott McTominay have played in that position and it’s abundantly clear they are not the answer.
Such is the quality of Casemiro, he’s actually superior to McTominay and Fred on all passing metrics, with the exception of comparing successful key passes with the latter. Casemiro’s dynamic range of passing would really set the tone at the base of the midfield.
There are three particular metrics that Casemiro significantly performs better in compared to McTominay and Fred and two of those regard passing, with the player averaging 65 successful passes and 14.2 successful passes into the final third per 90 last season.
The amount of ball recoveries he makes also catches the eye when comparing him to McTominay and Fred, although the pair hardly set a high standard. Casemiro averaged 8.1 ball recoveries per 90 last term and that’s just under double of what McTominay (4.9) and Fred (5.2) recorded in the Premier League. That shows Casemiro why would be the first midfielder on the Reds’ team sheet.
There is a feeling that Casemiro’s representative might be using United as a negotiation tactic for an improved salary for his client, but supporters will be hoping that is not the case. Football director Murtough will also be hoping Casemiro is genuinely open to signing for United after being led down the garden path this summer. He must seal this transfer for the sake of his reputation.
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