Pundit Alan Hutton has backed Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and his side to cope without Casemiro after he was given a four-match ban following his recent red card.
In the first half of United’s Premier League match against Southampton, the midfielder was sent off after a rash challenge on Carlos Alcaraz, making it his second red card of the campaign.
With the Brazilian now set to miss United’s next four games, including their FA Cup match against Fulham, Hutton has backed Ten Hag to successfully guide his team through this period.
Speaking to Football Insider, Hutton said this about Casemiro’s absence and how the Red Devils will cope without him.
He said: “It is not ideal, but I think they have got strength and depth there. I think he has made them a far better team this season, he is like the glue that sticks everything together.
“But the likes of Fred, he has done well enough, [Scott] McTominay is also there. [Bruno] Fernandes can sit in that position as well if it is needed.
“It is not ideal, but they will just have to get used to it because he is not going to change his style of play. That is just the way he is. I think Ten Hag will have something up his sleeve.”
Bearing in mind how the 31-year-old is currently listed as United’s second-highest rated player with an overall performance rating of 7.06/10 from WhoScored, as well as having the highest average of tackles per game (3.1) and joint-second highest for interceptions per game (1.3), it’s safe to say that he will be a big miss for the team.
However, despite Hutton’s faith in the likes of Fred and McTominay, their defensive output in the league this season has not been as significant as Casemiro’s.
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For example, Fred has an average of 1.6 tackles per game and 0.7 interceptions per game, whereas the Scotsman has a lower average of both statistics with an average of 1.4 tackles and 0.6 interceptions per game.
Moving forward, if Ten Hag does end up relying on these two players to do a job while Casemiro is suspended, this will be their chance to prove to the manager that they can step up and do what’s required of them.