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“I wanted more football” – Erik ten Hag explains why he substituted Manchester United superstar at half-time

Manchester United midfielder Casemiro will be unavailable for the Champions League clash against Copenhagen despite returning from injury.
Manchester United midfielder Casemiro will be unavailable for the Champions League clash against Copenhagen despite returning from injury. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag explained the reason for substituting Casemiro at half-time.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has explained the reason which prompted him to substitute Casemiro for Christian Eriksen.

United beat Brentford 2-1 in a dramatic late comeback during their Premier League game at Old Trafford on Saturday. The victory had a reminiscence of the old times under Sir Alex Ferguson when they frequently clinched late winners.

Ten Hag brought in Christian Eriksen during the first-half break after a poor outing from the Brazilian International. The 31-year-old’s awful pass, intercepted in the 26th minute, played a part in Brentford’s goal from Mathias Jensen.

Casemiro and Christian Eriksen of Manchester United
Manchester United midfielder Casemiro has struggled with inconsistency this season. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Ten Hag talked (h/t Manchester Evening News) about the substitution after the game to explain his reasons. He said:

“I wanted more football, one who brings passing, distribution, link-up play. So I thought bring Christian Eriksen for Case.”

The 31-year-old has contributed four goals and one assist in 11 appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions. However, Casemiro has struggled to fulfil his duty in the deep midfield role and has shown a lot of vulnerability.

The Brazilian has lost a lot of pace and energy to keep up with opponents who are currently in their prime. Opponent attackers have found it easy to shrug him off or glide past the Brazilian comfortably.

United signed Casemiro from La Liga side Real Madrid for £70m during the summer of 2022. The Brazilian won multiple accolades for the Spanish giants and came in with the expectation to bring similar success to United.

The Brazilian started his United career impressively but his performance dropped significantly since the beginning of 2023.

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The Red Devils signed Mason Mount and Sofyan Amrabat during the summer to add energy to their midfield ranks. Scott McTominay has also stamped his claim with the late heroics against the Bees despite being down the pecking order. Casemiro must make significant improvements, or he risks losing his starting position to his midfield teammates.

Written by Siddharth Juyal

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