ten Hag comments on Man Utd's January transfer plans
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Manchester United have, in Casemiro, finally signed a proper replacement for Roy Keane. The Brazil international is a warrior for Erik ten Hag and, on Tuesday night, scored as his side beat Bournemouth 3-0 at Old Trafford. Finally, it seems a big character is doing big things at the club – something that hasn’t always been the case in the years since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement…
Manchester United had gone into their clash with Bournemouth hoping to build on recent victories over the likes of Burnley, Nottingham Forest and Wolves since the World Cup.
And though it wasn’t exactly swashbuckling, the Red Devils picked up all three points with Casemiro on target in the first half and Shaw in the second.
It was a good night for United, with many positives to take from the game.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka continued his recent improvement, with the former Crystal Palace star catching the eye at right-back.
Harry Maguire performed well upon his return to the United side, with Victor Lindelof assured alongside him in the absence of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.
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Christian Eriksen’s creative instincts were clear for all to see, with the Denmark international producing the assist for Casemiro’s volley.
Shaw continues to impress at left-back, having evidently won his battle with Tyrell Malacia for that spot on the teamsheet, with Rashford also sparkling.
And Donny van de Beek showed promise before being forced to limp out of the contest, with Alejandro Garnacho impressing following his introduction shortly afterwards.
Casemiro was, however, once again the best player on the pitch.
And it’s clear that, in the veteran, they finally have a midfielder of Keane’s cabibre who can help take Ten Hag’s side to even greater heights.
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It was another assured display from the midfielder, who joined from Real Madrid back in the summer with some fearing he’d be a flop.
After all, midfielders have certainly struggled in the years since Ferguson retired and walked off into the sunset.
Upon signing Casemiro, comparisons were unfairly made with Bastian Schweinsteiger – who previously joined the club in the summer transfer window of 2015.
At the time, Schweinsteiger was in his prime having dazzled during a glittering spell at Bayern Munich.
Yet he failed to live up to expectations at United and left as a dud, with injuries hampering him under both Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.
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Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Morgan Schneiderlin are other players who have blown hot and cold for United over the years.
But, in Casemiro, they now have a consistent performer operating at the peak of his powers.
The former Madrid star’s volley in the first half was impressive, especially when you consider he’s not really in the team to score goals.
And the way he marshalled the team and dictated the proceedings at Old Trafford was admirable as well.
Back in the summer, United’s preference was to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona – except the 25-year-old didn’t want to come.
They then tried to land Adrien Rabiot from Juventus, only for the player’s huge wage demands to be too expensive for the Red Devils.
So Casemiro then joined instead.
And to think he was a Plan C. Casemiro is far more than that and is the true heir to Keane’s throne, nearly 18 full years after the Sky Sports pundit was shown the door.
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