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Casemiro details “obvious” change Erik ten Hag must make for Man United’s FA Cup final



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Credit: YouTube / Chiringuito Inside

Casemiro has sent a plea to Erik ten Hag regarding his favoured playing position ahead of Manchester United’s upcoming FA Cup final against Manchester City.

Since Manchester United played Coventry City in the FA Cup semi-final towards the end of April, Casemiro has been deployed as an auxiliary central defender.

Erik ten Hag has had to deal with a monumental injury crisis in defence over the last few months. Only one centre-back has been available across the club’s last six fixtures in all competitions, with Casemiro partnering either Harry Maguire or Jonny Evans.

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It has been an emergency plan that has not done much in the way of preventing goals, with the club having conceded 13 goals across those six fixtures, including four against Crystal Palace almost two weeks ago.

Speaking recently. Casemiro has explained that although he will happily play wherever Ten Hag needs him to, he would rather play in midfield.

“I mean, I’ve done it probably two or three times in my time at Real Madrid, playing centre-half,” he told international broadcasters. “But everyone knows that I am a central midfielder. It’s not a role that I like to do, but, you know what, I do it with the absolute best will in the world.

“As soon as the manager asks the question: ‘Would you be able to play in that role?’ Of course, I would. Absolutely. I do it to help the team, the manager, the clubs, the fans. That is what you do. And I do it, as I say, because I’m delighted to help out if I can.

“I know it’s something which, you use the word ‘adapted’, and it’s something that I’ve tried to do to help the side but, yeah, I’m a central midfield player. All my life, all my career. Obviously, that is where I prefer to play.” 

While Casemiro has played the last six games as a centre half, the recent win against Newcastle United may have been his last, with Raphaël Varane, Lisanadro Martínez, and Victor Lindelöf all spotted in training earlier this week.

Casemiro further explained that it is obvious that he prefers to play in midfield, a change that he no doubt feels needs to be made ahead of the FA Cup final and will likely happen due to the return of the aforementioned players.

“Obviously, I prefer to be further forward in midfield, but if the rest of the side was as per normal, it would be easier to slot in, I’m sure,” he added. “But, as I repeat, I do it. I do it to help my teammates.

“Everyone knows I’m not a centre-half. I’m a holding midfielder, that is what I’ve been all my life, but my philosophy is, you know, when you’re in a team, you do things to help that team and help your team-mates out. That’s the key.

“There are different types of leaders. You know, there are leaders who show and lead by example. I guess that’s maybe what I’ve been doing. Leading by example. I mentioned before that the manager asked me to fulfil that role in defence and I did it with great pleasure.

“You know there might be the odd error because I’m not a centre-half, but it’s still doing your best for my teammates. I know they’ve been going all out and trying really hard to help me out there on the field in this new role.”