Erik ten Hag has given his viewpoint on Casemiro’s Manchester United debut against Southampton and explained the reasoning behind not starting the new signing.
Casemiro came on in the 80th minute and the manager explained: ‘It was quite good for him to see the Premier League, it’s a different style. He has now a pre-season, he has played some games, he played one time 90 minutes, he is fit’.
Talking to the press after the game, Ten Hag also explained the reasoning behind leaving Casemiro on the bench until the 80th minute, citing integration into the team as a main factor.
‘He had a good pre-season with a lot of training sessions, we have to integrate him in a team and a way of playing and integrate him with his teammates.’
Despite playing a little over ten minutes, the Brazilian certainly made an impression and United fans will be excited to see what else he can bring to Ten Hag’s team.
Casemiro entered the fray when Southampton were beginning to ask questions of the Red Devils defence and wasted no time in getting involved, more than holding his own in the middle of the field.
The midfield maestro was impressive in his pressing intensity, putting himself about and solidifying the middle of the park to keep Southampton largely at bay. Using his experience to know when to press, when to stay and marshalling his teammates around.
Ten Hag was particularly impressed with the ‘togetherness’ of the United team and in particular the defensive side of the performance.
‘I think we defend as a team, I was quite happy with most of it. I saw room for improvement, the back four was a real unit with David de Gea, togetherness, but also the two in front, Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen, did that really well. It’s a team performance.’
With a midweek trip to the King Power stadium looming, it will be interesting to see if Casemiro gets a start. McTominay would seem to be the obvious candidate to drop out to make way, although Ten Hag may well be looking to rotate ahead of the Arsenal game on Sunday.
With back to back victories including the first away win in 7 games, Ten Hag will be looking to Casemiro to step in and provide the experience in order to keep up the winning run.
The transfer window shuts in a few days and United are believed to be looking at bringing in more fresh faces to help keep the momentum going.