Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has described Casemiro as the “cement” in his midfield following the club’s latest Premier League win over West Ham.
The Brazilian has started to flex his midfield muscles in recent outings following his move from Real Madrid over the summer, playing the full 90 minutes in each of the club’s last five Premier League games, including Sunday’s 1-0 triumph against the Hammers.
Casemiro, 30, opened his account for the club on the road to Chelsea a week before last, netting a last-gasp equaliser to maintain the club’s recent autumnal purple patch. And he followed up with an authoritative showing at Old Trafford as the Red Devils kept a lid on West Ham.
“I call him the cement in the midfield,” Ten Hag said of Casemiro to Manutd.com in the aftermath of Sunday’s win.
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“I think in and out of possession, he makes such a difference and he gives the team [an] extra edge and helps them dominate. I say in and out of possession because he can dominate games and he gives the team [that] extra edge to help dominate in the game.
”He can also read the game and he helps the players by pointing them into the right positions. He is anticipating both in and out of possession and also he sees the pass between the lines.
“One of the highlights of the game was his pass to [Diogo] Dalot in the first half.
“He is a top player and I am really happy to have him here.”
Despite starting just five Premier League matches for Man Utd this campaign, Casemiro already leads the club’s charts for tackles (27), underlining his tenacity and grit in the heart of Ten Hag’s midfield.
Such ball-destroying endeavour should take some of the defensive burden off the likes of Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes, allowing the duo to flourish more creatively knowing Casemiro is stationed behind ready to put out any fires.