‘That’s what great players do’ – Keane lauds Casemiro and pinpoints his impact on Man Utd squad

Date published: Thursday 26th January 2023 9:12 - Ben Stewart

Manchester United's Casemiro during English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace against Manchester United

Roy Keane has heaped the praise on Manchester United star Casemiro after he returned to action against Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup.

The Brazilian midfielder was sorely missed for Man United against Arsenal as a suspension kept him out of the previous game.

Casemiro played a full 90 minutes against Nottingham Forest and he was credited with the assist for Marcus Rashford’s superb solo goal.

Since his move from Real Madrid in the summer, Casemiro has quickly become a fan favourite and he continues to impress pundits alike.

Keane told Sky Sports: “He’s a huge player for them. We obviously saw at the weekend when he wasn’t playing [how he was missed].

“He’s a big personality, has won the big trophies before. He affects games, is obviously very good defensively and pretty good on the ball, let me tell you.

“Big strong boy, big personality – he makes the players around him better, that’s what great players do.

“We’ve seen him so far, you’re thinking when he came to the club, big signing, big expectations.”

The former Man United captain has been impressed with how well Casemiro has bedded into the team and he detailed his biggest strengths.

“But he does the simple things well, can see a pass, his awareness – it’s not just about winning the ball back, it’s about the next bit, it’s that bit of quality, that pass, the pace of it. That’s what the really good players do.

“Sometimes you realise how good a player he is when he’s not in the team.

“That’s what great players do, they affect games, they make things happen. They move it and I think when he came to United there was a lot of talk that he was very defensively-minded – which he is, he’s very good at that – but he’s very good at going forward.

“He’s very good at making passes and he’s got a few goals which is a huge bonus.”

Erik ten Hag was impressed with the performance of his side as they have taken a huge step towards the final at Wembley.

“I’m happy, happy with the performance,” the manager told MUTV. “I think over 90 minutes we controlled the game and there was one moment which could have changed the game.

“That is what we have to be aware of, that is where we have to improve. But I think overall it was a good performance from our first team and now the first leg is done, with still one leg to go.

“I said at half-time I was not happy with the part of the game in the first half after they [Forest] changed their system. And we have to avoid that.

“We have to stay calm, pass the ball around not too quickly for the final pass and maybe sometimes use some extra passing and then you can hurt opponents, especially when you are up in an away game. Control the game better, dictate the game.”

READ MORE: Ten Hag can open trophy floodgates at Man Utd as 2017 Mourinho limit not yet in sight

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