EPL

Casemiro signing will not resolve Man Utd's problems, warns Saha

By Sports Desk August 19, 2022

Casemiro's imminent arrival at Old Trafford will greatly enhance Manchester United's midfield options but will not resolve all of the club's problems.

That is according to former United striker Louis Saha, who also told Stats Perform that Cristiano Ronaldo was wrong to ask for a move.

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed on Friday that Casemiro is set to leave the Santiago Bernabeu, with United reported to have agreed a £51million (€60m) fee.

Casemiro, a five-time Champions League winner with Madrid, is one of a number of midfielders to have been linked with the Red Devils.

Having appeared to have missed out on Frenkie de Jong and Adrien Rabiot, Casemiro's move to Old Trafford could be completed as early as this weekend.

While the Brazil international will bring a number of qualities to United, Saha believes his former side's issues run far deeper than simply bringing in a new midfielder.

United find themselves bottom of the Premier League for the first time since August 1992, which is the only previous occasion they lost their opening two games in the competition.

"It's a massive signing," Saha said. "But it is not a midfielder, it is not a striker, it is not a defender, goalkeeper or other transfers that are going to solve United’s problems. 

"So don't be stupid in thinking, 'Oh, okay, we signed the big player who won the Champions League a few times, all our problems will be solved'. 

"He'll really help the strikers to feel more confident that they have a certain kind of base that helps a team that wants to win titles. But he won't solve every player’s problems."

Casemiro is set to become United's fourth signing of the window following the arrivals of Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez.

A number of first-team players have exited Old Trafford since the end of last season, meanwhile, with Paul Pogba the highest-profile departure to date.

The future of Ronaldo remains in the balance ahead of the September 1 deadline, although a number of teams have opted out of making an approach for the forward.

Ronaldo is reported to have asked for a transfer just a year after rejoining United, which Saha believes has left the Red Devils in a difficult situation.

"I respect so much Cristiano and I think he's in this bracket as such a special player that I completely understand the way to manage this is not easy," he said.

"Cristiano's a massive player and got 24 goals last year. That has a massive impact on the opposition because they fear him.

"It's a difficult position. But on the same terms, we can recognise that he has put the club in a very difficult situation, because he hasn't maybe spoken out at the right moment.

"I think the timing and the essence of this could have been kept a bit more private, until the deal is done or nearly done because of the respect that you have about the situation. 

"The manager is trying to build a team, and you're saying you're unsettled and you want to leave. It's really hard. I don't think that he was right."

Ronaldo scored 18 Premier League goals last season – only Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min (both 23) scored more – and netted a team-high 24 in all competitions.

Bruno Fernandes was the only other United player to reach double figures, finding the back of the net 10 times.

Saha, who won four trophies in five seasons with United, feels it is down to others to step up rather than Ronaldo if the five-time Ballon d'Or winner stays.

"He got 24 goals last season and shut all the criticism in terms of his personal ability, and that was in a team not playing well," Saha said.

"He is the only goalscorer who's got more than 10 goals, which is a joke. I mean, that's not normal. 

"No other players could support when he wasn't scoring. We've seen bits from Bruno Fernandes, who is a bit of a shadow of the player he was before the arrival of Cristiano. 

"The club and the other players haven't performed to facilitate a good rehabilitation for Cristiano Ronaldo's comeback."

Related items

  • Pulisic 'not panicked' by United States form ahead of World Cup Pulisic 'not panicked' by United States form ahead of World Cup

    Christian Pulisic is "not panicked" about the United States' form ahead of the World Cup despite a winless international break.

    In the USA's final warm-up games for Qatar 2022, a poor 2-0 loss to Japan in Dusseldorf was followed by a limp goalless draw with Saudi Arabia in Murcia on Tuesday.

    It means Gregg Berhalter's side will go into the finals with just one victory in their past five matches.

    With Gio Reyna also suffering an injury scare against Saudi Arabia, this was not a successful camp for the United States.

    But captain Pulisic pushed back on concerns around the team's performances, even if he acknowledged the need for improvement in the final third.

    "We had a pretty good first half," the Chelsea forward stated. "I think we had a couple of half-chances where we created some things.

    "But I felt like we lost it a bit at the start of the second half, and they got a little bit of rhythm. We have to do more to figure out what we are going to do to create chances at the end of the day.

    "There are definitely some positives to take from the game, and a clean sheet is always good. I'm not panicked at all.

    "We have a fresh slate going into the World Cup, and we're going to give it everything that we have."

    The USA play Wales, England and Iran in Group B in Qatar.

  • Portugal 0-1 Spain: Late Morata goal steals place at Nations League Finals Portugal 0-1 Spain: Late Morata goal steals place at Nations League Finals

    Alvaro Morata's late goal gave Spain a 1-0 victory over Portugal and snatched a place at the Nations League Finals from their hosts in Braga.

    Spain needed to win to leapfrog Fernando Santos' side atop Group A2 but had looked set to be frustrated, with Portugal enjoying the better of the first-half opportunities.

    However, substitutions from Luis Enrique after the break changed the game, and Nico Williams' header across goal was smashed in by Morata to steal a precious victory.

    The dramatic win means Spain will join Croatia, Italy and the Netherlands at next year's tournament, with Portugal left to rue missed chances and sloppy defending in the closing stages.

     

  • Brazil 5-1 Tunisia: Neymar closes on Pele record as Selecao cruise in Paris Brazil 5-1 Tunisia: Neymar closes on Pele record as Selecao cruise in Paris

    Neymar closed in on Pele's all-time Brazil goalscoring record as the Selecao eased to a commanding 5-1 win over 10-man Tunisia at the Parc des Princes.

    Playing on his home ground at club level, the Paris Saint-Germain forward netted his 75th senior international goal from the penalty spot – moving two shy of equalling the tally of legendary striker Pele.

    Raphinha struck twice, while Richarlison and Pedro were also on target as Tite's side completed their World Cup preparations in emphatic fashion.

    Montassar Talbi scored what proved a consolation for Tunisia, who had Dylan Bronn sent off as they suffered their first defeat in eight games.

    Brazil led in the 11th minute when Casemiro's floated ball into the box was met by Raphinha, who sent a looping header beyond the dive of Aymen Dahmen.

    Tunisia responded as Talbi nodded in from Anis Ben Slimane's free-kick, but the Selecao regained the lead less than two minutes later with Richarlison latching onto Raphinha's neat throughball and drilling through Dahmen's legs.

    Neymar made it 3-1 when he calmly converted from 12 yards after Aissa Laidouni dragged down Casemiro, before Raphinha fired home his second goal of the game from Richarlison's lay-off.

    Tunisia were reduced to 10 men before the break with Bronn shown a straight red card for a rash challenge on Neymar.

    Antony and Vinicius Junior went close to increasing the advantage in the second half, before Pedro scored Brazil's fifth 16 minutes from time – the Flamengo forward brilliantly volleying in his first international goal.

    Casemiro and Thiago Silva each almost made it six, but the Selecao had already done more than enough to stretch their unbeaten streak to 15 matches.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.