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Scott McTominay has to step up in Casemiro’s absence

Casemiro received his second straight red card in the Premier League yesterday as Manchester United played out a 0-0 draw with Southampton.

If the Red Devils decide not to appeal against the red card, Casemiro will be forced to miss the next four domestic games.

This will be a massive blow for United as they do not have a like-for-like replacement for Casemiro. His absence will compel Erik ten Hag to deploy Scott McTominay in the number six role.

The 26-year-old replaced Wout Weghorst just before the break against Southampton as the manager sought stability after Casemiro’s dismissal.

With Bruno Fernandes playing in central midfield, United were slightly unbalanced from the kick-off. The red card incident only increased that liability.

McTominay came into a difficult situation and helped his side to cover defensively.

He provided more steel and tried to close the gaps which were created due to his teammates’ expulsion.

There is no comparison between the qualities of McTominay and Casemiro. But with the latter suspended for a while now, McTominay has a perfect chance to step up and show Ten Hag what he brings to the side.

The academy graduate has had a mixed season. He started the campaign strongly, forcing Ten Hag to choose him over Casemiro who had just moved to Old Trafford.

However, it was just a matter of time before the former Real Madrid star took his place.

McTominay’s fine performance against Southampton may convince Ten Hag to trust the midfielder in the next few games.

He completed 13 passes out of 16 attempted and won 10 duels. He helped to shore up the defence, making four tackles and four clearances.

In the final few minutes of the game, he played a sumptuous long pass to Facundo Pellistri to set up the winger for a counter-attack.

There are doubts over his Man United future. Newcastle United are reportedly interested in acquiring his services next summer.

With Casemiro missing for the upcoming four domestic games, McTominay has a final chance to impress Ten Hag and salvage his United career.