Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has questioned Erik ten Hag’s role in the big-money signing of Casemiro from Real Madrid over the summer.
The experienced Brazilian moved to Old Trafford in August for an initial £60million, with another £10m in add-ons – signing a four-year contract worth around £300,000-a-week.
United moved for Casemiro following their failed summer-long pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong.
The 30-year-old defensive midfielder was brought in just three days after the debacle at Brentford, with some suggestions that it was a bit of panic buy after United’s issues in the middle of the park where shown up in dramatic fashion against the Bees.
Indeed, it’s claimed that Ten Hag wanted more of an attacking playmaker, but ended up with Casemiro instead.
The Red Devils boss had a budget of around £130m at the start of the summer. However, United ended up spending a whopping £225m instead.
That extra spend came off the back of defeats to Brighton and Brentford in their first two games. Indeed, United appeared to be scrambling to make signings in the final weeks of the window.
And speaking about United’s recruitment over the last few years, Scholes told Gary Neville’s Overlap podcast that he was not particularly impressed with what they done.
Man Utd recruitment questioned
The Red Devils legend said: “Jadon Sancho was a young player who Manchester United spent a lot of money on, who was unproven in the league,’ said Scholes.
“And why would a club like Real Madrid let Varane go? If you looked at him last season, he didn’t look right. I didn’t think it was a great transfer window.”
“Nobody at the club is taking responsibility for it. This year, Casemiro was done over two days. I wonder if it was the manager’s signing. A lot of money, long contract.
“I think they need to put someone in charge of recruitment. Eventually, the manager will get blamed for it.”
Casemiro still waiting for first Prem start
Casemiro is yet to start a Premier League match since moving to Old Trafford. Indeed, his only start came in their Europa League opening group game against Real Sociedad.
United’s current four-match winning run has come with Ten Hag Scott McTominay playing alongside the outstanding Christian Eriksen in the engine room.
There is currently no way that Ten Hag will drop either of those two. That means Casemiro’s only hope is playing in a three-man midfield, which would mean the United boss moving to a from two instead.
But if there was a game for that to happen, then Sunday’s clash with Manchester City could be it.
The Red Devils face a trip to their rivals knowing victory will move them to within two points of City.
Playing a three-man midfield against Pep Guardiola’s men certainly makes tactical sense. City normally dominate the ball, particularly centrally, and Casemiro coming in would give them more of a chance to stop the home side playing.
Indeed, if ever a game was built for Casemiro to play in, it is probably this one.
But if he does end up sitting on the bench again, then his signing looks to be a questionable one.