Casemiro, a key figure for Manchester United this season and Erik ten Hag’s leading goalscorer with four goals in 10 appearances is among several players struggling for form.
Former Old Trafford legend Gary Pallister has suggested a bold move to reignite Casemiro’s performance.
Throughout his illustrious career at Real Madrid, Casemiro rarely found the net, scoring 31 goals in 336 games for Los Blancos (approximately one goal every 10.8 games).
However, since joining United in a £70 million deal last summer, he has nearly doubled that rate, tallying 11 goals in 61 appearances (around one goal every 5.5 games). His unexpected attacking prowess, particularly in aerial duels from set pieces, has surprised many.
Pallister, who won 15 trophies during his nine years at United, proposes that Ten Hag should consider deploying Casemiro in a more advanced role rather than as a midfield anchor.
Pallister, comparing Casemiro’s quality to that of United legend Paul Scholes, stated, “Last season, nobody had complaints about Casemiro; he impressed everyone with his enthusiasm, passing range, and composure.
He’s a fantastic player who can perceive on-field situations that perhaps only Christian Eriksen can.”
“Casemiro is a tremendous aerial threat and can exploit space just like Paul Scholes used to do. While he wasn’t considered a goal-scoring threat at Real Madrid, he certainly is at United. A significant part of this can be attributed to his experience.”
“Although he is primarily a holding midfielder, his goal-scoring threat is evident to all. Despite the substantial fee, I have had no complaints about him so far.”
United currently lacks defensive midfield options to replace Casemiro in Ten Hag’s midfield trio, with Fred departing in the summer and Scott McTominay falling out of favor under Ten Hag.
However, Sofyan Amrabat will transition to a central role once Sergio Reguilon, Tyrell Malacia, or Luke Shaw return from injury.
Pallister anticipates that the 27-year-old Amrabat will excel in midfield once he moves away from his less natural left-back position, where he has encountered difficulties.
“There’s much work to be done. Hopefully, the injury situation will improve after the international break and provide more balance to the squad,” Pallister expressed.
“Sofyan Amrabat isn’t naturally a left-back, but he’s been required to play there. I’m eager to see him in a central midfield role. I believe he’ll perform exceptionally well in midfield.”
Amrabat, Casemiro, and either Bruno Fernandes or Mason Mount could potentially form Ten Hag’s preferred midfield trio in the near future.