Casemiro is the closest thing to Keane

Thursday 23 February 2023 12:00

Casemiro is still not given the credit he deserves, according to former Manchester United midfielders Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves.

The BT Sport pundits are huge admirers of the brilliant Brazilian, who will cross swords with Barcelona again on Thursday, after receiving a hot reception at the Nou Camp due to his Real Madrid past.

Scholes believes the summer signing is the closest thing to his former team-mate Roy Keane we have seen, while Hargreaves pinpointed one key area of the 30-year-old's game that would have made him a dream player for Sir Alex Ferguson.

'Casemiro's as close to Keane as you can get!' Video

'Casemiro's as close to Keane as you can get!'

Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves explain what makes Casemiro so great...

For all the plaudits the midfielder has received this term, he is still not appreciated enough in the eyes of the two former Reds.

"Casemiro has been sensational really," Scholes told us. "He has great experience, winning so many times with Real Madrid as well, and is invaluable to the younger players around the squad.

"It's almost like he's a coach on the football pitch. You've seen the difference from when he's come into the team and what he's made [happen]. He has great experience and I don't think he gets the credit for the way he plays. He is a really good passer of the ball, which surprised me a little bit, when you think you saw Luka Modric and Toni Kroos as the playmakers at Real Madrid.

"But this lad can play.

"I've heard so many times, as well, that's he's probably the best holding midfielder as well. I don't see him as a holding midfielder. He's a proper Manchester United midfielder that gets involved in everything. You see him up the pitch, you see him defending, you see him controlling the game at times. 

"He's probably as close to Roy Keane as you're going to get. I think he's been brilliant.

"I think 'holding midfielder' just does him a little bit of an injustice."

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As for Hargreaves, he feels Sir Alex would have appreciated one of Casemiro's key traits.

"The biggest difference he made is his first pass is forward," said the ex-England international. "He breaks up the play as good as anyone but if you watch him, his passing is always forward and that's what Scholesy did best. Sir Alex always said, in transition, play the ball forward if you can, didn't he Scholesy? I think that's the biggest difference.

"Obviously, Christ Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes's balance is brilliant. It's a shame Eriksen isn't fit but I think he makes a huge difference. I'm with Scholesy, I think his passing is super underrated as he always plays forward."

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