Manchester United have found their guy: none other than Casemiro.
This represented a new development after United initially put out all stops throughout the summer to secure the services of Barcelona’s midfield star, Frenkie De Jong.
However, it’s the Brazilian that has jumped ship to Manchester from Madrid, and reports suggest Casemiro’s medicals could clear just in time for Monday’s Liverpool game.
Here’s the interesting bit: Scott McTominay and Fred could line up as the team’s central men for the last time before Casemiro walks straight into action whenever he’s available for selection.
We are delighted to have reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of @Casemiro 🇧🇷#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 19, 2022
The “McFred” duo frequently faces the United faithful’s derision due to their inability to perform to a level the fans wish to see from them. However, that combination surely could be a thing of the past now.
How Have McTominay and Fred Fared?
Not everyone will thrive at the club’s Leigh Sports Village. The owners have not come to terms with thus, and such is the case of McTominay. The Scotsman rose through the ranks at United and was then heralded as the next best thing since the days of Paul Scholes in the middle of the park.
It’s safe to say that hasn’t worked out, and much to the consternation of the faithful, he’s deemed almost undroppable, even when he’s struggling. Too often, he stays on the ball a tad more than he should, and when he becomes dispossessed, he snaps into rash, untimely challenges. He’s then booked and will have to walk tightropes for the rest of the game, putting the team into some edgy occasions.
If you’re looking to preserve discipline, the Scotland international is surely not your cup of tea. Save a few flashes of brilliance here and there, not much has gone right for the 25-year-old.
Fred has not really hit the ground running since joining the club five years ago from Shakhtar Donetsk. Signed to add some finesse and progress to the United team, his presence has continued to stunt it.
Nobody expected Fred to replicate Ronaldinho, but it has become a frustrating sight watching him try to outwit an opponent with some piece of skill, only to fail to pick a simpler pass. Just like his mate, he will more often run into trouble rather than snuff it out. He’s the more mobile of the two, though, and perhaps manager Erik Ten Hag might decide to hand him a role every now and then. Free of the defensive shackles, which will surely now be occupied by Casemiro, Fred is a player who could flourish roaming further forward and deep into the opposition’s half.
No matter what happens, we have likely seen the final days of Fred playing with McTominay.
Can Van de Beek Thrive?
Donny van de Beek is the next question mark at Old Trafford. With Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen truly ahead of him in the pecking order, the Dutchman will bide his time at the club.
He is a player well known to Ten Hag, who has been open about his willingness to keep van de Beek despite his failure to make the grade since departing Ajax. Now reunited with his mentor, he should come good this season, but even that is not a guarantee. He proved himself at Ajax but will now have to replicate his success as the jostle for positions heats up.
Could Players Opt to Leave?
McTominay has been a subject of transfer rumors since the news of Casemiro joining broke. Newcastle, West Ham, and a handful of other Premier League clubs could challenge United’s resolve on the player.
Newcastle United are long-term admirers of McTominay and are keeping tabs on his situation, while David Moyes is another confirmed fan of the player. Everton, Southampton and Leicester are also keen, along with clubs in both Italy and Germany [@GraemeBailey, @_scottsaunders]
— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) August 19, 2022
He wouldn’t leave a huge void if he leaves. Perhaps for the right money, the club would cash in and look to rebuild other areas of the squad.
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