Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Top Arsenal star cited as Gary Neville launches staunch defence of hard to sell Man Utd misfit

Casemiro Man Utd

Casemiro has been backed by Man Utd legend Gary Neville

Gary Neville has defended struggling Manchester United star Casemiro and used an Arsenal player as an example of how midfielders lacking pace can still succeed in the Premier League.

Brazilian legend Casemiro has been heavily criticised for his recent performances for United and was urged to move to Saudi or the MLS by Neville’s Sky Sports colleague Jamie Carragher after Monday’s demoralising 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.

Casemiro has been forced to drop back to central defence recently due to an injury crisis at Old Trafford and was badly exposed in the Selhurst Park hammering.

But Neville believes there is a ‘wider’ at his old club and highlighted the fact that Jorginho has been able to thrive for Premier League title-hopefuls Arsenal despite the fact he ‘can’t run’ either.

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“Casemiro is going to be here next season, unless they can get somebody from Saudi Arabia to pay huge money,” Neville said on the Stick to Football podcast from Sky Bet.

“He’s going to be at Manchester United, so they’ve got to work with him, haven’t they?

“Jorginho is a good example. Jorginho can’t run – he’s better on the ball, but he can’t run and he was finished at Chelsea.

“He goes to Arsenal, and he looks a beautiful player in that Arsenal midfield with Declan Rice on one side and [Martin] Odegaard on the other, with that centre-back partnership behind him.

“So, you can play in that position and not run.”

Bigger issues at Man Utd than Casemiro

Casemiro is not the only player having issues at Manchester United and Neville believes it would be a completely different story for the former Real Madrid star and several of his team-mates if they were playing under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

The former England defender added: “There is a wider worry – I went surfing on YouTube this week, and if you look at Jose’s [Mourinho] interviews, [Ralf] Rangnick’s interviews, they’re talking about players being injured too much.

“The style of play is being questioned, [people are saying] the manager doesn’t know what he’s doing and it’s a graveyard [for players]. It is a rinse and repeat this, now, for four or five times. So, it’s a wider issue that exists.

“Liverpool didn’t have any midfield at the start of the season. They had Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliot at the club. They signed [Wataru] Endō – would you have swapped Endo for Casemiro and [Sofyan] Amrabat at the start of the season?

“This is a serious conversation about players at Manchester United, and what happens to them.

“You’d have taken [Mason] Mount over [Dominik] Szoboszlai, you’d have taken Casemiro or Amrabat over Endo. You’d have taken [Bruno] Fernandes over [Alexis] Mac Allister. You’d have probably taken Kobbie Mainoo over Elliott, you might have taken [Scott] McTominay over Curtis Jones.

“As players – as a five or a six. And, you’ve got Christian Eriksen as well, so you’ve got five or six players in that midfield that I think are good players. They’re not the best, but they’re good players.

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“If you gave Jurgen Klopp in a stable Liverpool that six, and swapped that five from Liverpool into Manchester United, what do you think would happen?

“That’s my concern [that they’d be better at Liverpool]. Why is every dying on their feet at Old Trafford?”