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Casemiro

Casemiro hailed as the 'perfect' number six for Man Utd as Ten Hag highlight's midfielder's 'leadership' skills

11:35 SAST 2022/12/28
Casemiro Manchester United Forest 2022-23
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag showered praise on midfielder Casemiro after he starred in their win over Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night.
  • Casemiro starred in 3-0 win
  • Ten Hag labelled midfielder "perfect" number six
  • Also hailed leadership qualities around team

WHAT HAPPENED? The Brazilian played the full 90 minutes against Steve Cooper's side and impressed throughout with his tactical nous and incisive passing, one of which found compatriot Fred for United's third in a routine 3-0 win. Ten Hag waxed lyrical about the midfielder, who he feels has plugged an important gap in his side's midfield line and brought a lot to the table beyond sheer footballing ability.

WHAT THEY SAID: “We needed a no.6,” Ten Hag told United's official media after the match. “It is one of the decisions we made in our analysis before the season. We have the perfect one, we are happy with him. He has showed a lot of leadership and football skills. He is keeping the team together and then he is also so important in our ball playing. Winning the ball and giving the ball to the right player, like he did with the third goal.” 

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ten Hag also lauded the performance of Raphael Varane, who started against Forest in an unorthodox centre-back pairing alongside Luke Shaw despite having played in the World Cup final barely 10 days prior. United went on to record their sixth clean sheet in 15 Premier League games against Forest, and Ten Hag hailed the Frenchman's commitment.

"I think you always question yourself after a break, what will be the restart and we play a team - especially the back four - they never played together and a player who never played ever in a centre-back position [Shaw]," Ten Hag told reporters. "Rapha shows once again his great personality, the great standard he is giving Manchester United by coming from the World Cup. A problem in the centre half position and he took the responsibility to play and he performed really well and he was once again really important for our team."

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR UNITED? The condensed winter schedule offers no respite for Ten Hag's side, as they travel to Wolves on New Year's Eve before hosting Bournemouth on January 3.