Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand is “not concerned” by Casemiro’s slow adaptation to Premier League football after showing his “intelligence” against Everton.
The Brazil international made his first Premier League start at Goodison Park on Sunday following his £70m summer transfer from Real Madrid.
His two other starts have come in the Europa League with Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag seemingly easing Casemiro into English football.
There have been calls in recent weeks for him to get a start in the league and Casemiro contributed a wonderful assist for Cristiano Ronaldo’s winner at Everton in a 2-1 win.
The Man Utd midfielder did make a mistake in the lead up to Everton’s goal but Ferdinand reckons Casemiro’s play off the ball more than made up for his negative “highlights reel” on the ball against the Toffees on Sunday.
“Casemiro has the experience,” Ferdinand told BT Sport. “He’s won multiple Champions Leagues, he understands football.
“Even though it’s a different stadium, a different environment, he will get used to it and adapt quickly because of his intelligence.
“You don’t play at that level [at Real Madrid] without having a level of intelligence. Yes he started poorly, he gave the ball away for the goal, but as the manager said he grew into the game.
“If you had a highlights reel on him today with the ball, you’d say he shouldn’t be playing maybe.
“But without the ball, the positions that he took up, the way he regained possession, [the way he] didn’t allow [opposition] players to play the ball forward into dangerous areas, that is what you need in your team if you are going to have any stability.
“I’m not concerned with him on the ball, he will give it to the players who can create.
“That’s been his game his whole career. He is there to plug gaps, plug spaces.
“For me, as a centre-back, you need someone in front of you who knows how to marshal that space in front, to not give away opportunities easily.
“He’s the only midfield player in the Man United squad that knows how to defend instinctively and it’s part of his make-up, the best part of his game.”
And Man Utd boss Ten Hag was also pleased with Casemiro’s display against Everton and reckons the Brazilian is “doing the right things”.
Ten Hag told reporters: “He is experienced. Even after a small mistake, he [remained] composed, he is doing the right things.
“He has a huge impact on the game by winning so many balls and always in good positions to receive balls, to link up, to pass around, and he was really important with the goal. A good ball in, a good pass to Cristiano and a good finish.”
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