Erik ten Hag was doing his best to stress how well Manchester United have done without Casemiro this season, but his final comment when discussing the Brazilian's four-game ban might have been the most telling of all. "He has a huge impact on our game," Ten Hag said of his holding midfielder.
Nobody who spent much time watching United this season will dispute that. The £70million signing from Real Madrid has been as transformative to this team as Ten Hag himself.
United have been crying out for a natural defensive midfielder for years and in Casemiro they signed one of the best in the business. READ MORE: Ten Hag reacts to Sevilla draw in Europa League Not only does he read the game superbly, allowing his midfield partners to press on, but his passing is outstanding, capable of breaking lines and transforming defensive situations into attacking ones.
The 31-year-old is also a leader. He was desperate to sign for United this summer, even after they lost to Brighton and Brentford, and his experience has been invaluable, guiding his side through games and leading by example, even without the captain's armband.Read more on manchestereveningnews.co.uk