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Manchester United can use Casemiro’s suspension to make a decision on the summer transfer



Manchester United can use Casemiro’s suspension to make a decision on the summer transfer



Casemiro will play his next four home games for Man Utd and his absence has often been a problem this season.

United have struggled with Casemiro’s unavailability this season

Sometimes the most basic stats tell the story best. When Casemiro leaves for Manchester United, he wins 72% of the time and only loses one game in ten. If he doesn’t start, they win 67% of the time, but lose one in four.

Forget the details of the numbers explaining Casemiro’s impact on United and what he does so well, the bare stats don’t lie. When not involved, United find it harder to win games and easier to lose.

He was not signed in time for defeats to Brighton and Brentford, sat on the Manchester City bench and was suspended for Arsenal’s defeat when the Gunners rained down 25 shots. You could even add the 7-0 defeat at Liverpool, where the Brazilian midfielder could have been absent given how poorly he has performed compared to the rest of this season.

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There are other examples in games. United did poorly at Leeds as they started without him and had to bring him on after 45 minutes against West Ham in the FA Cup. This is a team that struggles to operate at the same level when Casemiro isn’t playing.

So facing four home games without him will be a challenge for Erik ten Hag this week. After a second red card in three Premier League games, the 31-year-old will miss games against Fulham, Newcastle, Brentford and Everton.

It could definitely be worse. All those matches are wins for United and three of them are at Old Trafford, but how they deal with the absence of a player who has been devastating both on and off the pitch since moving from Real Madrid could be decisive for Ten Hag’s plans for the summer. The possibilities of substitution within the team are limited. Scott McTominay has usually replaced Casemiro and as injuries increase he is likely to do so again. Both Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek have been out for a long time and are more advanced midfielders anyway.

Ten Hag hopes to bring back Marcel Sabitzer soon, on loan from Bayern, to give him another alternative in the middle. Lisandro Martinez could also be pushed into the starting role after playing there for Ajax. However, none of these solutions are ideal. McTominay played well keeping Casemiro out of the squad in the autumn, but the setback between the two is noticeable now. As well as being a world-class defensive midfielder, the Brazilian is also a sensational passer who has been instrumental in United’s ability to carry the ball forward.

So when it’s not available, they lack the control it provides, as well as the ability to propel them forward. In recent games against Leeds and West Ham, it was evident that United’s pace of attacking play was slower without Casemiro.