Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag may need to make one big change after Man City thrashing

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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag may have to make one big change after their 6-3 thrashing by Manchester City, replacing Scott McTominay with Casemiro. The Brazil international has struggled to break into the first team since his arrival from Real Madrid during the summer but the Dutchman may have no choice but to choose him now after their struggles at the Eithad. 

Hopes were high for Casemiro after his £60million move from La Liga in the summer however he has largely had to settle for a place on the bench after dropping behind McTominay in the pecking order. The Brazilian was hugely successful during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, becoming a crucial part of the Los Blancos team that went on to win five Champions League titles in his time at the club. 

The partnership he struck up with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos will be remembered as one of the greatest in football history but he moved on in August in search of a new challenge. Given the problems United were experiencing in midfield before his arrival, the expectation was that he would walk straight into the starting lineup. 

Until the match at the Eithad, Casemiro seemed to have galvanised the Scotsman, with the 25-year-old enjoying a string of good performances in recent weeks. However, the humbling at the hands of Erling Haaland and co. exposed his deficiencies with United gaining a greater foothold in the game once he was replaced by the Brazil international around the hour mark. 

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Ten Hag may have no choice but to bring him into the side for his first Premier League start against Everton next weekend, as he looks to regain momentum following the difficulties they faced on Sunday. Casemiro’s presence should encourage greater standards from his team mates given what he has achieved in his career. 

United legend Rio Ferdinand has thrown his weight behind the 30-year-old’s quest for a starting place, suggesting it is disrespectful for him to be left out of the side. 

“He ain’t been given a start in the team when he’s fit and ready, he’s regressed in terms of fitness, so he’s now worse off than when he came,” he told his Vibe with Five Podcast. “He still had to get up to speed when he came from that league to this league.

“I wonder the impact it’s having on someone like him. Yes he’s experience and whatnot, but he must be sitting there thinking, ‘wow, I’m happy to be here at Man United but I’m feeling a little bit disrespected here, given what I’ve done’. I’d be surprised if he’s not feeling like that.

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“’He’s sitting there going, “I’ve won five Champions Leagues with this team (Real Madrid).’ I think we will [see Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro play], but I think it’s the context of what games they’re playing in – they could be playing midweek Europa game. That won’t sit well with them.” 

It remains to be seen whether or not Ten Hag will end up bringing Casemiro in for next Sunday’s fixture with Everton – but it appears increasingly likely he will be given a chance in the side given their Eithad thrashing. 

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