In the previous campaign, Casemiro completely revolutionised the Red Devils’ midfield, winning the ball back and playing excellent long balls with regularity.
This season, however, he has looked noticeably off the pace. While he has retained his brilliant passing and positional sense, his overall athletic ability has declined to a worrying degree.
In addition to this, a recent tweet from WhoScored revealed that Casemiro has been dribbled past more times than any other player in the Premier League this season so far – 12 times in total.
What has been said regarding Casemiro’s recent performances?
On Sky Sports, after United’s game against Wolves in their first match of the 2023/24 Premier League season, Carragher began the discussion by hypothesising [via Football365]: “I have a feeling at some stage, Casemiro is going to get really exposed.”
“Manchester United’s midfield was non-existent, it emptied. It was a concern. If you watched Man Utd in pre-season, leaving Casemiro on his own when Mason Mount and Bruno Fernandes go forward, it looks great. But you’ve got to have a balance. And the front three don’t really work hard enough in a defensive sense.
“That would have been a real worry because Wolves have got a new manager only four days ago and a lot of misery around how their season may end up, but they’ve been brilliant tonight.”
Should Manchester United drop Casemiro?
Should United choose to drop Casemiro, they now have players in the squad who could fulfil his role. One of them is the newly-acquired Sofyan Amrabat, whose ball-winning skills were on full display at the 2022 World Cup.
Theoretically, Lisandro Martinez can also function as a defensive midfielder – but he is simply too good in his current position of centre-back to be moved elsewhere.
Nevertheless, dropping Casemiro may be the best option for all parties at this point. It would show Casemiro that he is not untouchable and it would also freshen up United’s midfield – a move that could bring dividends.