Erik ten Hag may be on the verge of a bold decision, considering leaving a key Manchester United regular out of the lineup for the upcoming Manchester City clash.
Reports suggest that Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is contemplating the possibility of omitting Casemiro from the starting XI in the highly anticipated derby against Manchester City this weekend. This bold choice might come to fruition, even if Casemiro is deemed fit to play.
Casemiro had been a fixture in the Manchester United lineup for all competitions this season, up until the recent trip to Sheffield United. Unfortunately, he missed that game at Bramall Lane due to a minor injury sustained during international duty.
The 31-year-old opted to remain in Brazil for his recovery but is scheduled to return to England later this week. However, he is already set to miss the upcoming Champions League match against Copenhagen due to a suspension stemming from a red card in the last group match against Galatasaray.
The situation might take a more challenging turn for the former Real Madrid star in the weekend’s encounter against Manchester City at Old Trafford. Reports from GiveMeSport suggest that Ten Hag is contemplating the bold move of excluding Casemiro from the lineup, irrespective of his fitness.
Casemiro has been a near-constant presence in the starting lineup since Ten Hag signed him during his initial tenure. However, his form this season is reportedly a ‘major concern’ for the manager. In his absence, Scott McTominay and Sofyan Amrabat started in midfield during the recent game, and they could potentially maintain their positions.
McTominay has made a compelling case to be considered irreplaceable after netting three goals in his last two appearances for Manchester United, including a late brace that secured victory over Brentford prior to the international break. Amrabat, initially deployed as a left-back, seized the opportunity to excel in midfield during the last match.
Ten Hag’s actions during the comeback win over Brentford, in which he substituted Casemiro with Christian Eriksen at halftime, hinted at his dissatisfaction with the Brazilian’s form. Explaining the move, Ten Hag stated, “I wanted more football. I wanted someone who could provide passing, distribution, and link-up play. So I thought to bring in Christian Eriksen for Casemiro.”
Former Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has also been critical of Casemiro’s performances this season. He expressed his concerns, noting, “I think Casemiro’s legs have gone. I noticed it last season at Anfield, and I didn’t like what I saw. It took me back to watching Fabinho last year for Liverpool. I want to be the first to say it; I don’t want to say it when everyone else is saying his legs have gone.”