Hargreaves: My Player of the Year is...

Tuesday 18 April 2023 13:27

Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has high praise for both Casemiro and Marcus Rashford when giving his verdict on who should be our Player of the Year.

With the squad still competing in three competitions at the business end of the season, having already sewn up the Carabao Cup, a case could be made for a fair share of Reds to be in the running for the annual award. 

Casemiro and Rashford are certainly in that mix, following their standout contributions. The Brazilian has made a profound impact in midfield since arriving from Real Madrid, while Marcus has enjoyed the most fruitful term of his career so far, topping our scoring charts on 27 goals.

It’s understandable, therefore, that Hargreaves is torn between the two when giving his answer. But, reading between the lines, we think he may be just giving the edge to the midfield man.

Hargreaves: The mentality has changed completely Video

Hargreaves: The mentality has changed completely

Exclusive | Owen Hargreaves reviews United’s season so far and picks out his Player of the Year...

“Marcus has took the headlines but I think if you look at Casemiro, the team is so different when he’s not playing, just in every phase,” Hargreaves says in an exclusive interview with club media.

“It affects David De Gea, it affects the back four, it affects the midfield balance. 

“Marcus will get the headlines and rightly so because he’s been devastating in a way. Casemiro is the glue guy.

“It’d be a tough call, I want to give it to Marcus but I feel like Casemiro has taken the team to the next level.”
Having played the position during his career, there’s no surprise that Hargreaves is a natural admirer of one of our current conductors in the middle of the park. 

But what does he like most from what he’s seen from Casemiro’s debut season in United colours?

“Just his consistency,” says the former Red, who was part of our Champions League and Premier League-winning side of 2007/08.

“I think that’s the one thing. There’s been so many great players here, but the great, great ones are consistent. 

“You think of Bryan Robson, Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, they are seven out of 10 pretty much every game and sometimes they’re an eight or a nine, and rarely they have a five out of 10 game. 
“I think Casemiro does that. He’s always a seven, eight out of 10, he rarely ever makes mistakes. The thing that I love, I think it maybe surprises a few people, but as good as he is defensively, his first pass is always forward. 

“Sir Alex always said: ‘When you win the ball back, play forward.’ He wins it and he passes forward, he gets it to Bruno or he gets it to Eriksen, who play in Marcus or any of the attacking players. 

“Casemiro has been fabulous, he’s winning the ball back, he’s protecting the team but also, he’s a fabulous passer of the ball going forward.”
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