Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag identified the need to upgrade the team’s spine as soon as he was handed the reins and the club had to pay big in order to get their ideal candidates.
In walked Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro and both have proved to be candidates for the Player of the Season with their displays.
The Brazilian’s importance to the squad cannot be taken lightly. With him, the team play their best stuff while without his services, the team have a poor win record.
But considering he is 30 now and the fact that United have played the most number of games among teams in the top five European leagues, it is natural that he will be showing signs of tiredness.
ETH has not quality alternative for Casemiro
That has been seen in recent games where United have generally failed to control proceedings. The games against Sevilla and the disappointing draw against Tottenham were the best examples of the former Real Madrid man looking leggy.
Unfortunately, the United boss has no clear alternative on the bench with Scott McTominay out injured and even when fit, he is not in the same league as the five-time Champions League winner.
It is imperative that Ten Hag brings in an understudy, someone who is young and can learn from the Brazil international while playing his share of games and allowing the former Real Madrid man some rest.
The Red Devils have been linked with the likes of Joao Palhinha and Moises Caicedo and while both are more than capable of handling the responsibility, whether they will accept a backup role is doubtful.
The Ecuador international is said to be valued at over £70million and while his performances have been exceptional, it is difficult to envisage United spending so much on a midfielder with a striker high on the agenda.
The Fulham man is 27 currently and after a fabulous season for the London side, it is unlikely that he will want to sit and learn from Casemiro.
The most suitable option could be a move for Romeo Lavia. As reported by The Peoples Person previously, the Reds have already spoken with the player’s entourage regarding a summer move and his age and price make a lot of sense.
The 19-year-old is valued at €25million according to Transfermarkt and while ideally Southampton would have tried to get more than double for their star midfielder, their impending relegation fears could mean a deal can be struck for a lower figure.
Lavia seen as the successor by ETH
According to The Independent, Ten Hag is an admirer of Lavia’s ability and despite his young age, sees him as the perfect understudy for Casemiro and long-term successor.
“Ten Hag meanwhile admires Southampton’s Romeo Lavia as a potential long-term successor to Casemiro,” the report stated.
It is easy to see why the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and former club Manchester City want his services. The Belgian has played 30 games across all competitions and garnered one goal and one assist.
He has been one of the rare bright sparks for the Saints and his ability to recycle possession, evade pressure and find the right pass have impressed one and all.
A move for Lavia could be the most ideal deal for United considering their budget restrictions and he could be the oerfect addition to increase squad depth, something that is severely lacking at the moment.
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