Casemiro was so determined to help turn around Manchester United’s ailing fortunes that a phone call to director of football John Murtough in the wake of their 4-0 thrashing at Brentford lay the groundwork for his big-money transfer.
United laboured home to sixth place last season with Ralf Rangnick failing to revive their fortunes after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking. And with Erik ten Hag the man selected to revive the club, hope was bright that his appointment would spark a bright new era.
United have the chance to move into the Premier League’s top four on Sunday afternoon if they beat Aston Villa and other results go their way. And that will be their aim come the end of the season, though Jamie Carragher is still predicting a miserable final outcome for the Red Devils.
That said, it’s certainly been a promising first few months in charge for Ten Hag. Allowed to spend over £200m this summer, many of his new arrivals have all had an impact. That said, one of their summer arrivals could be set for a surprising U-turn in January.
Indeed, sitting in fifth with a game in hand, the club will hope this is just the start of what is to come under Ten Hag.
It’s a quick turnaround too given the gloom that descended over the club after their first two games. A 2-1 home defeat to Brighton was followed up by an embarrassing 4-0 defeat at Brentford.
In the days prior to that game at in south-west London, United had turned their attention towards the signing of Casemiro. The Brazilian had already held talks with the club after agreeing a fee in the region of £70m with Real Madrid.
Casemiro convinced Man Utd over transfer
The 30-year-old had emerged as their leading target after their failure to convince either Frenkie de Jong or Adrien Rabiot to sign.
However, in the wake of their 4-0 drubbing at the Brentford Community Stadium, some fans feared Casemiro would start having second thoghts.
But the quite opposite is actually true, with Casemiro phoning up Murtough in the wake of that loss to tell him he was ready to sign.
As per the Daily Mirror, Casemiro – having watched the game and seen how United were beaten from his Madrid home, told the United DoF exactly how he could positively impact the team.
Days later, the capture of Casemiro was finalised on an initial four-year deal.
And while he initially had to wait for his chance in the United side, Rio Ferdinand told United exactly why the Brazilian was ready to have a huge impact.
And since his introduction to the side, that has certainly rang true. The Red Devils have lost just twice with Casemiro on the field in 15 matches so far. Indeed, his authority has visibly given United something that was badly lacking last season.
Ten Hag loving what Casemiro brings
Casemiro’s impact at United is also vastly appreciated by his coach, Ten Hag.
And the Dutchman has made clear what the experienced midfielder adds to United’s ranks.
“I think in and out of possession he makes such a difference and he gives the team [an] extra edge and helps them dominate,” he said.
“I say in and out of possession because he can dominate games and he gives the team [that] extra edge to help dominate in the game.
“He can also read the game and he helps the players by pointing them into the right positions. He is anticipating both in and out of possession and also he sees the pass between the lines.
“Casemiro is a top player and I am really happy to have him here.”