Manchester United have announced that they have agreed to a deal in principle to sign Casemiro from Real Madrid. The Brazil international is set to join the Red Devils following a medical but is not going to play any part in the club's game against Liverpool on Monday night.
However, they would have hoped that the central midfielder could have played the game, given their desperate need for quality in the center of the pitch.
The 13-time Premier League winners looked decent in their pre-season under new manager Erik Ten Hag but have been awful in their first two games of the season.
The lack of a central defensive midfielder has been evident over the last two seasons and Manchester United have now perhaps signed one of the best in the business.
While there are many who argue that £70 million for the South American is a tad too much, there is every reason for the club's fans to be happy about this purchase.
To elaborate that point further, let's take a look at 3 reasons why Casemiro is a smart signing for Manchester United.
#3 Provides an immediate fix in the defensive midfield role
Manchester United have been crying out for a defensive midfielder since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign at the club. The Norwegian manager would have also perhaps appreciated the signing of a central defensive midfielder last season instead of a marquee move for Cristiano Ronaldo.
It also makes sense as to why Ten Hag has been adamant about the club landing Frenkie de Jong since day 1 at Manchester United. Although the club have done all they can for that deal, it has so far failed to materialize. Regardless, they can now relax about that position for a couple of years, if not more than that.
In Casemiro, the Red Devils have bagged arguably the best defensive midfielder in world football right now. Although he turned 30 this year, the Brazilian was excellent for Real Madrid in their Champions League and La Liga triumph last season.
To shed more light on the same, the midfielder ranked first for a successful pressure completion percentage (40%) in La Liga last season. He was also amongst the top five players who won the most tackles (64) in the league.
Hence, the no-nonsense midfielder can effectively protect the Manchester United backline and provide a much-needed spine to Ten Hag's rather chaotic side at the moment.
In fact, his defensive solidity might also put some confidence back into Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez and make them feel more assured. Similarly, the frontline will have more freedom to attack and commit more numbers going forward, thereby allowing them to maximize their potential.
His addition could see a lift in the performances of several members of the team as he could be a top player in a position they needed to fill for a long time.
#2 Possesses a winning mentality
One thing that can be said for many Real Madrid players of the past decade is their unassailable winning mentality and desire to never give up.
Casemiro is certainly one of them and his incredible attitude could be a huge boost for the players at Manchester United. With Ronaldo and Raphael Varane hailing from the same club, the Brazilian could add a little more of the same mentality.
The ability to hold on in tight games and churn out results when you have your back against the wall is arguably Casemiro's forte. Moreover, he will push the club to go on and compete for trophies this season, regardless of the size of the competition.
Silverware shall be readily accepted by the Old Trafford outfit as long as the club are also doing well in the Premier League.
His addition could also see the club becoming far more practical in the big games, purely because of the player's experience of playing in such matches.
Casemiro, who has won five Champions League trophies, three Club World Cups, three La Liga titles, and three UEFA Super Cup trophies, knows what it takes to win silverware.
He will be eager to instill the same mentality in the current Manchester United squad, which is something they have lacked for over a decade now.
#1 Could become the leader Manchester United desperately crave
One character that Manchester United have been desperately lacking in recent years is that of a leader. Although Ronaldo certainly tries to lead from the front, he is also arguably a liability for the side on his bad days. (He is also reportedly looking to leave the club)
However, the same cannot be said for Casemiro, who will constantly be a massive voice in the center of the pitch for Manchester United. The Brazilian is quite the vocal figure in midfield and will demand 100% from the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay, who have been poor in the last 18 months.
Additionally, the defensive midfielder comes from a Real Madrid side that have always produced the most sensational come-backs. Hence, Casemiro's shoulders are unlikely to drop during testing times as he is somebody who rallies a team around him.
His enthusiasm, energy, and ability to perform at a high level until the last minute is sure to rub off on his new teammates.
Manchester United are currently going through arguably their worst period in Premier League history. Hence, a leader like Casemiro can only change things for the better, thereby making him the club's best signing in recent years, especially if he lives up to his billing.