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‘Keeps surprising us’: Erik ten Hag hails Casemiro’s contribution at Man Utd

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has hailed the massive contribution of Casemiro during his debut season at the club.

The Brazil international signed from Real Madrid last summer and he has since produced several stand-out performances.

Aside from his defensive involvements, Casemiro has chipped in with six goals and seven assists from his 50 appearances.

He scored with a stellar bicycle kick against Bournemouth today and speaking after the game, Ten Hag was full of praise.

The Dutch tactician said that the 31-year-old keeps surprising with his performances and he is a ‘great football player’.

The Red Devils boss added that Casemiro has ‘absolutely’ exceeded expectations and his contribution has been ‘massive’.

He told “He keeps surprising us. He’s such a brilliant football player.”

“We know him as very good organisation, positioning, anticipating, intercepting a lot of balls, winning duels, a fighter, keeping the team together, but also in possession his passing, his distribution, but also finishing. Just a great football player.

“Absolutely, by far. [on whether he has exceeded expectations]. One of the things that came out of our analysis, we missed a player in the midfield.

“A strategist and we searched for the strategist – it was not easy because they are not many in that profile who fits to the standard of Manchester United and so we are happy we found him.

“His contribution is massive and I think even we miss him over eight or nine games by suspension.

“He was in the start of the season, he was not even there, so many games he was not even there, but I think when we played him in midfield it’s good in balance. We had a lot of wins with this midfield.”

Casemiro has been a fantastic acquisition

Casemiro had a difficult introduction to English football. He was initially a regular on the bench with Scott McTominay getting the nod in the number six position.

However, the Brazilian eventually displaced the 26-year-old from the line-up in October. He made his first Premier League start against Everton away from home.

He has since been a consistent performer from the centre of the park. Casemiro has been unlucky with a couple of sending-offs but overall, he has been brilliant.

The former Real Madrid man recently went through a tough phase after his second red card but he looks back to his best for the season finale with the Red Devils.

As things stand, United need just one point from their final two league games against Chelsea and Fulham in order to qualify for the Champions League again.

Once that is secured, the club have a crucial FA Cup final against arch-rivals Manchester City on June 3. Casemiro will be crucial to beating the Cityzens at Wembley.

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