Fresh from overcoming a dire Liverpool in a 2-1 victory on Monday, the mood around Manchester United has lifted. A team-first performance that seen Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire dropped to the bench seen United box their more recently successful rivals up and down the pitch. Liverpool have started the season looking half-asleep, but it was the hugely impressive form of United that stuck out.
More too was the excitement emanating from the recent marquee hire of holding midfielder Casemiro. The Brazil international arrives from Real Madrid, and could be the lynchpin United have needed all summer. This could be the start of an intriguing rebuild, with Casemiro bringing experience and the promise of longevity.
However, while fans are naturally excited about buying what might be the best No. 6 in world football, those associated with United are less excited.
Two former heroes of the club in Wayne Rooney and Peter Schmeichel have been unsure about whether this is the sure-fire signing it has been proclaimed to be. In recent interviews, both the current DC United coach and the respected pundit spoke with concern about what Casemiro can do for United.
What was said about Manchester United signing Casemiro?
Schmeichel spoke with British outlet BBC Sport about the signing, and said: “I am surprised by the deal because Casemiro’s name has not been mentioned during the transfer window. I think he’s been fantastic for Real Madrid.
“However, what he will be asked to do at United is different, as No.6 charged with driving forward, and there’s a big difference in the Premier League compared to La Liga. I am also surprised by the amount of money involved in the fee. Plus the wages – at his age – and we don’t know if he can do the job United need him to do. Maybe United should be signing someone who knows what it is like to play in the Premier League.”
It is an interesting take, and one that pours a little bit of cold water over the excitement. Other teams fans are keen to make it out that Casemiro has arrived for a payday. In a discussion with The Times, per Caught Offside, Rooney, the all-time top scorer for Manchester United, added: “This goes back to the need to look to the future.
“Ideally, they should be signing players in their early to mid-twenties, and Casemiro is similar to Christian Eriksen — someone who has been a good player, but are they going to help the club move forward? Frenkie de Jong, Ten Hag’s principal midfield target, would be a better fit.”
“The Casemiro deal seems to have come from nowhere and looks like a reactive signing — I would be surprised if he was a player identified as a priority to bring in when ten Hag arrived. It looks like, having been unable to sign de Jong, United just reacted to Casemiro being available.”
For United fans, though, the sheer presence of a true winner like Casemiro, paired with a win over the old enemy from Merseyside, will be hard to dismiss as anything other than a positive.