Rio Ferdinand has spoken in glowing terms about one of Manchester United’s key men ahead of the Manchester Derby on Saturday afternoon.
United have been on the up in recent weeks, going unbeaten in the Premier League since the return from the World Cup break, and summer signing Casemiro has been vital to that run. The Brazilian has offered the kind of leadership the Red Devils have lacked in midfield over recent times.
He arrived at Old Trafford after a hugely successful spell with Real Madrid that saw him win five Champions league titles and a number of other titles, forming a near-perfect partnership in the middle with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. Casemiro became one of the world’s best defensive midfielders at Real Madrid, and he is now showing that quality with United.
And his winning mentality might just prove the difference for Ten Hag’s men this season, and maybe even in the Manchester Derby on Saturday. Speaking ahead of the clash on BT Sport, Ferdinand said: “I think Man Utd, there are a lot of players in there who haven’t won - maybe all the players apart from David De Gea and Marcus, haven’t won for Manchester United, so they don’t know how to win the league, they don’t know how to win big trophies or to navigate through big moments at Manchester United.
“Casemiro doesn’t know how to do it at manchester United, but to bring that experience that he has had with all the ups and downs and the successful periods he has had at Real Madrid, that is invaluable. You can bring players in from big clubs, but if they are one of the integral ingredients, there is a big difference. That’s what I’ve seen with Casemiro. He is not just someone who is there for the ride.
“When you go back and watch some of the games, he was vital. The last Champions League final, (Thibaut) Courtois won it, I think, but I’d have had him as Man of the Match. In big situations, he doesn’t shrink, he gets bigger.”