Casemiro

5 reasons why Casemiro might be one of the worst signings in Manchester United’s history

Casemiro has been one of the undisputed great defensive midfielders of this generation, having made a name for himself during his glorious years with Real Madrid. However, he joined Manchester United after his prime and his shortcomings have been exposed in the league with the greatest number of eyeballs on it.

Having said that, a club of United’s stature and worldwide reach should know better than to sign a player in that stage of their career. Yet, they spent £60 million to sign the then 30-year-old, which has not really panned out how the club would have liked. Without further ado, here are the five reasons why Casemiro could be one of Manchester United’s worst signings.

5. Casemiro was on a physical decline when he joined

Casemiro began his professional football career with Brazilian club Sao Paulo, where he made his professional debut aged 18, before growing from strength to strength and eventually being scouted by Real Madrid. He signed for Los Blancos in 2013 and spent nearly a decade with the club, becoming a mainstay in their midfield alongside Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.

Casemiro signing for Manchester United in 2022. (Getty Images)

The fact Real Madrid kept the other two and were willing to offload the Brazilian in 2022 was in itself a huge tell as to what the Spanish giants thought about his future. He made a total of 336 appearances for the club in his nine years, scoring 31 goals and providing 29 assists. Kroos is the same age, while Modric is nearly 40, but both continue to thrive in Los Blancos’ midfield.

The Brazilian, on the other hand, has shown clear inability to cope with the pace of the Premier League in some of the games he’s played.

4. Manchester United signed a player outside of their ideal approach

For years under Sir Alex Ferguson, United had the name of being one of the best clubs for younger players to develop and reach their true potential. However, since the Scot decided to vacate his role, the club have tried desperately to achieve similar success and has opted for shorter routes in recent years.

United signed veterans such as Zlatan and Schweinsteiger. (Getty Images)

By signing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Christian Eriksen, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and recently Casemiro, they have tried to cut the road to success short. Experience does count in winning trophies, but it usually falls short when the core of the team is not built around youth.

With most of their key players including Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay being under 25 when Casemiro joined, the club were forced to play the Brazilian in most of the games and even accommodate him at the expense of youngsters.

3. A lack of motivation for the player to perform

Having been at Real Madrid for so long, Casemiro’s objectives each season mostly revolved around winning titles or retaining them. However, when he moved to Manchester United, that quickly changed into a need for him to become the main voice of the group and lead the team. Earlier, he was alongside Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Modric, Casillas, etc., who took the initiative to lead as well.

Having this added expectation on his shoulders, whilst also learning a new language and settling into a different kind of weather surely made things tougher for the Brazilian.

2. Limits Erik ten Hag’s options in tactics and personnel

The Red Devils’ manager Erik ten Hag. (Getty Images)

Due to the name he has made for himself, just the thought of dropping Casemiro would cause tension in Manchester United’s dressing room. This applies even when he does not perform, causing further imbalance in the team and resulting in poor results. His inclusion blocks one spot in the XI which could have been used to aide the progress of Kobbie Mainoo and others in the squad.

Casemiro has also lost the legs he once had and is one of the slowest players on the pitch when teams clash. This causes defensive lapses for United – something which they can actively avoid by moving on from him.

1. Huge financial drain on the club

If Casemiro’s £60 million price tag at 30 was not enough, his reported £350,000 per week wages are guaranteed to cause most people’s jaws to drop. Considering a Premier League season runs for approximately nine months, Casemiro would cost Manchester United around £12.6 million more per season in just wages, which amounts to around £60 million over the length of his four-year deal, essentially doubling the transfer fee.

Not only does this block funds for investing in newer and younger players, it also sends a message to youngsters that they are not the priority at the club, which had been the case for multiple decades prior to now. Additionally, the player has no incentive to leave because this was his last huge contract, which he will be determined to run down rather than cut short.

Conclusion

United could have used these funds to further the progress of their own youth products, or maybe invest in multiple players to cover defensive midfield rather than putting all their eggs in one basket.

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