Saha names most important player at Man Utd; explains why Red Devils are Europa favourites over Arsenal

Joe Williams
Man Utd star Casemiro celebrates victory

Louis Saha believes Casemiro is the “remedy to any danger” Man Utd face as he becomes the Red Devils’ most influential player.

The Brazil international swapped Real Madrid for Man Utd in a £70m summer deal after winning five Champions League trophies with Los Blancos.

Eyebrows were raised at the Red Devils spending such a big fee on a player over the age of 30 but those doubts have disappeared with Casemiro arguably their most important player this season.

He scored his fifth goal of the season in all competitions as Man Utd beat Newcastle 2-0 in the Carabao Cup final to lift his first silverware as a Red Devils player.

When asked who United’s most important player is, former striker Saha told Betfred: “It’s a difficult one because for me it seems like Casemiro gives more confidence to the team. Lisandro Martínez benefits from Casemiro’s experience and it’s the same for Marcus Rashford.

“You notice every time when Manchester United recover the ball, just how quickly Casemiro is looking for the strikers. The team believe they can defend, they believe they can counter-attack and that’s all down to Casemiro. If he’s not there, then there’s not the same energy, experience and calmness.

“I’m very impressed by the signing of Casemiro. Anyone who was trying to figure out how Real Madrid dominated Europe, then they’d probably pinpoint Toni Kroos and Luka Modrić, but the people who really knew that when the team was in danger, when the team was struggling, that Casemiro was the remedy to any danger his side faced.

“People try to compare him to Roy Keane, but at the same time, I see Casemiro playing in a different league because the guy scores goals and provides so much confidence to his team.

“He seems to be a family man and he also seems to be the perfect teammate. Credit to Marcus Rashford for scoring those important goals this season and Lisandro Martínez for bringing that power, confidence and arrogance at the back, but the one player who pulls the strings is Casemiro.”

Man Utd beat Barcelona over two legs in the Europa League play-offs last week and they now face Real Betis in the last 16 with the likes of Arsenal and Juventus still in the competition.

When asked if Erik ten Hag’s side are now favourites to win the Europa League, Saha added: “When you look at the performances that Manchester United have produced over the last two months, with the defeat to Arsenal aside, they’ve been excellent against strong opposition, with their performances against Barcelona being an example of that.

“They look composed, they’re showing their quality and their energy levels are so much better.

“I’m very confident after watching those games to say that Manchester United are the favourites to win the Europa League and if they continue to go on like this, then they’ll remain a real force next season.”

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