Casemiro has established himself as one of the top midfielders of his generation during his successful stint at Real Madrid. Manchester United made a bold move by acquiring him for £70 million in the summer of 2022. In his first season, he played a pivotal role in the team’s achievements, helping them secure a third-place finish in the Premier League and clinch the Carabao Cup.
However, this season has seen a decline in Casemiro’s performance, and at almost 32 years old, he appears to be one of the weaker links in the United squad. The team has suffered six defeats in eleven matches, and while everyone is being held accountable, Casemiro’s struggles are particularly noticeable. United’s manager, Erik ten Hag, might need to take decisive action to steer the team back on course.
During the recent match against Brentford, Casemiro was notably off his game, making a costly error that led to the opposition’s goal. Consequently, he was substituted at halftime, and his replacement, Christian Eriksen, significantly improved the team’s performance. In the final moments, Scott McTominay’s spirited display secured the much-needed victory for the team.
While Casemiro’s presence was indispensable in the previous season, the team seems to function better without him now. Additionally, his aging has resulted in a loss of speed, leading to an increase in fouls committed and subsequent bookings.
Casemiro’s recent performances in a 4-2-3-1 formation have been lackluster, notably against teams such as Tottenham, Arsenal, Brighton, and Crystal Palace, with the defeats highlighting his struggles. Despite his accolades, including the Player of the Month award in September and being the leading goal scorer with four goals, his contributions seem more like a reflection of the team’s challenges rather than individual brilliance.
Although Casemiro had standout moments in certain games, such as his goals against Bayern Munich and Nottingham Forest, it’s evident that his notable performance in the League Cup victory over Crystal Palace was somewhat diminished given the opponent’s weakened lineup.
While the management may have had high hopes for Casemiro, his recent performances suggest that the club might need to consider other options. Ten Hag’s decisions have also been called into question, particularly for often leaving Casemiro isolated due to tactical changes without adequate rest.
Temporarily removing Casemiro from the starting lineup could give Ten Hag the opportunity to assess the overall situation and explore alternative strategies. Scott McTominay’s impressive performance against Brentford has certainly earned him a place in the team and cannot be overlooked.
While Casemiro is far from being written off, the management may need to look for a new world-class midfielder as early as January to address the team’s pressing needs.