Why Ten Hag loved his first chat with Casemiro

Wednesday 02 November 2022 18:55

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has provided a fascinating insight into his first conversation with Casemiro following the Brazilian's transfer from Real Madrid.

The five-time Champions League winner completed his move from the Spanish giants in August and, after a period of adaptation, he has been a revelation for the Reds in central midfield. 

Earlier this week, Casemiro was named on a four-man shortlist for our October Player of the Month award alongside Diogo Dalot, Lisandro Martinez and Marcus Rashford. The winner is set to be revealed on matchday, so keep your eyes peeled for that breaking news. 

While our no.18 would be proud to win our fan-voted prize, his immediate focus is on Thursday’s Europa League game against Real Sociedad and a game that is key to United’s knockout stage plans. 

A win by two clear goals or more would see us top the group and progress to the last-16, but any other result would result in a last-32 play-off against one of the relegated Champions League clubs. 
Ten Hag and Casemiro both cut determined figures when holding a joint press conference in San Sebastian, where the manager was asked to assess the 30-year-old’s growing influence as a Red. 

“I said it the other day, for me he is the cement between the stones in and out of possession,” Erik told journalists on Wednesday night. “You see him growing from game to game and with that.

“Also, our team is growing so we are really happy with the progress but also we have to keep that process going because we are not satisfied. We have to approach it like 'good is not good enough'. Tomorrow we have another challenge and another chance to do it better.”
When pressed further on Casemiro’s transfer and why the Brazil international has adapted so well, Ten Hag pointed to his first conversation with the player and a desire to prove himself all over again.

“He told me when we had the first talk that he needs a new challenge because in Real Madrid he won everything,” said the boss. “He was a big part of Real Madrid still, they didn't want him to go. 

“But he had a feeling, he told me, that 'I have to go to another club, to another league, to prove myself' and that shows his hunger. I really liked that and from the first day on, he has been coming with that attitude to every training, to every match, and he proves it. 

“I really like it and, like I say, he will be more and more important to our team.”