Manchester

Casemiro proved Jose Mourinho right at Real Madrid but he has a new challenge at Manchester United

The Brazilian, snapped up from Real Madrid in a deal worth an initial 60million, has not started any of the three Premier League matches he has been available for since arriving at Old Trafford, meaning his only start in United colours so far has come in the Europa League. He was one of six changes for the defeat to Real Sociedad last Thursday and he failed to have the desired impact, with the Reds falling to a 1-0 defeat.

Deployed in a midfield three alongside Christian Eriksen and fellow Brazilian Fred, Casemiro struggled to get into any sort of rhythm, with his best passes coming via his head rather than his feet. It was an underwhelming full debut.

But you have to remember the change in culture he has recently experienced. He spent nine years at Madrid and moving to a new club after that amount time in the same environment is always going to bring its challenges.

It is clear that he needs time and opportunities to adjust to the English game and the way that Erik ten Hag wants his team to play. With time, that adaptation will become easier and he will start to offer the qualities and experience United expect of him.

He is one of the best defensive-midfielders in the world and his performances throughout his Madrid career highlighted why he has frequently earned that title. He won 18 major trophies in the Spanish capital, including five Champions League crowns.

And if Jose Mourinho's opinion of Casemiro is anything to go by, United's supporters ought to remain patient with the 30-year-old. That is because the former United boss, who worked with the midfielder at Madrid for a short period of time, once told him he would become the best central midfielder in the world.

“[He told me] 'I know you, you are good, and you are going to be the best central midfielder in the world',” Casemiro told Cope, speaking back in 2018. “He gave me this confidence, I left the dressing room believing that I was Cristiano Ronaldo.

“With the energy that he gave me, I was left believing that he was the best in the world. The confidence and energy that he gave me was incredible.”

Mourinho knows a talented player when he sees one and Casemiro has, to this point, enjoyed a career that has developed year-on-year. United have added an outstanding talent to their squad to solve an issue that desperately needed addressing for years.

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