Ten Hag backs Casemiro to provide leadership after sealing Man Utd transfer

By Sports Desk August 23, 2022

Erik ten Hag is expecting Casemiro to emerge as a leader in his Manchester United team after the Brazil midfielder competed his £60million (€70m) move from Real Madrid.

Casemiro, who won 18 major titles during a trophy-laden nine-year spell with the Spanish giants, was unveiled as a United player ahead of their 2-1 Premier League victory over Liverpool on Monday.

The Brazil enforcer is the fourth arrival of a busy transfer window at Old Trafford, following in the footsteps of Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen, all of whom impressed when starting against Liverpool.

Casemiro will likely have been encouraged by a first glimpse of his new team-mates, as United handed Jurgen Klopp's side their first league defeat of 2022 via goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.

Ten Hag, who is now the first ever United manager to secure his maiden competitive win against Liverpool, expects Casemiro's big-game experience to be an asset for the Red Devils.

"He has won so many trophies in his career," Ten Hag said. "He knows the road, how you win games and finally how you win trophies.

"We [now] have more players who have won already many trophies in their career. That has to be a guidance for the rest of the team so they know and they understand how to win games.

"We did really well today compared to last week so we make a step [forward], but it is what you have to deliver every day and in every game."

No midfielder has matched Casemiro's tally of 415 tackles won in LaLiga since the start of the 2015-16 season, with the 30-year-old's defensive abilities allowing Toni Kroos and Luka Modric to star throughout one of the most successful periods in Madrid's history.

Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the match, Ten Hag referred to Casemiro as "the cement between the stones", adding: "That is what we have been looking for in the summer and found him, [I'm] very happy with his signing."

Ten Hag expects multiple United players to display leadership qualities, and used a post-match interview to hail Bruno Fernandes' performance as captain after dropping Harry Maguire to the bench.

"I think he took the responsibility and I think it encouraged him, the captaincy, and I think he showed leadership together with Rapha Varane," Ten Hag told Sky Sports.

"I think definitely on the pitch, they make a huge difference, but that is what they have to bring, and it’s not just those two, I think we need more leaders.

"When you want to make a winning team, you need more leaders and we need the spirit that we showed today."

United travel to Southampton for their next Premier League outing on Saturday, having collected three points from their first three games of the campaign.

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