A former Premier League winner has performed a dramatic U-turn on a Man Utd star he’s now labelling “the real deal”, and also named the first moment that forced his re-think.
The arrival of Casemiro to Old Trafford raised an eyebrow or two over the summer. The Brazil veteran was already the wrong side of 30 and Man Utd have a recent history of being burned by superstar signings at the tail-end of their careers. Few will quickly forget how much of a drag Alexis Sanchez became, for example.
The £60m fee (rising to £70m through add-ons), also caught the eye. As such, many within the media immediately adopted a suspicious outlook on the move.
Liverpool legend Graeme Souness infamously labelled Casemiro nothing more than a “steady eddie”. Gary Neville, meanwhile, recently declared Casemiro’s signing at his advanced age is “not smart or shrewd” for Man Utd.
Former Premier League winner and ex-Tottenham boss, Tim Sherwood, was another to have doubts about the Man Utd move.
Sherwood previously believed Casemiro was making a late-career money grab by ditching Real Madrid for Man Utd.
The 54-year-old questioned Casemiro’s hunger and desire to turn Man Utd around after enjoying year after year of success at the Bernabeu.
However, Casemiro has laid waste to any and all criticisms that have come his way.
He’s masterfully shielded the back line, though is also making his mark at the other end of the pitch too.
Casemiro recently revealed Erik ten Hag has urged Casemiro to venture forward more often and his five goals and six assists thus far show he’s taken the message on board.
But it’s his passion, maximum effort and leadership abilities that will please his manager the most. It’s not oversimplistic to state Casemiro has been a major factor into transforming Man Utd from underachievers to quadruple hunters in just seven months.
Now, speaking to Premier League productions, Sherwood performed a complete 180 on the Man Utd favourite. In doing so, he also revealed one specific moment that forced his re-think.
Casemiro proves another doubter wrong
“When the deal was done, I thought Casemiro came to Manchester United to fill the till up,” said Sherwood (via the Metro).
“He’s done everything at Real Madrid, he can’t possibly have the hunger still. That’s what I thought at the time.
“I was so, so wrong. From the moment he scored that equaliser at Stamford Bridge [in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea in October], I knew this boy was the real deal.
“He’s incredible. He puts out fires, any sort of danger he puts it out, but he can also play. To come in with that desire, at his age, you have to take your hat off to him.”
The Chelsea goal Sherwood references saw Casemiro score a 94th minute equaliser after an 87th minute Jorginho penalty had seemingly handed the Blues all three points.
Casemiro remarkably looped a headed effort over Kepa Arrizabalaga and in off the far post. In typical Casemiro fashion, his celebration was an exuberant one, and with good reason too.