Casemiro's private chat with Man Utd chief and surprising Erik ten Hag opinion

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Casemiro has been a revelation since joining Man United (Image: CameraSport via Getty Images)
Casemiro has been a revelation since joining Man United (Image: CameraSport via Getty Images)

Casemiro has taken to Manchester United like a duck to water following his £70million summer transfer and has been a key reason for their dramatic turnaround under Erik ten Hag.

The former Real Madrid star has shored up a leaky Red Devils midfield, per his job, but is also supplementing the attack, and has chipped in with a goal and two assists in the Premier League this campaign.

There was some surprise when Casemiro opted to part company with Real Madrid - not long after they'd won a 14th Champions League, the Brazilian's fifth while at the club - to put pen to paper with a United team that had just failed to qualify for Europe's premier competition.

But five months on and it's become apparent Casemiro and Man United are a match made in heaven - and, crucially, both parties are steadily moving in the right direction.

Ten Hag would have no doubt been extremely confident that the Brazil international was the perfect man to steady his ship the moment he signed for United after the midfielder made a private phone call to Red Devils chief John Murtough.

Marcel Sabitzer completes Man Utd transfer after last-minute deadline day dash eidehiqdqikinvMarcel Sabitzer completes Man Utd transfer after last-minute deadline day dash

The call was made shortly after Manchester United's opening day defeat by Brighton and just before their 4-0 hammering at the hands of Brentford when things couldn't be looking any worse for Ten Hag.

Many would assume the nature of the call would be negative, with an already disillusioned Casemiro realising what he'd got himself into and looking for an early escape route.

Casemiro's private chat with Man Utd chief and surprising Erik ten Hag opinionThe Brazilian has helped shore up Man United's defence (Offside via Getty Images)

But instead, Casemiro called Murtough to ensure him that despite the defeat - and the obvious long road ahead - he was confident he was making the right decision to join United and couldn't wait to get started.

As things began to improve for United and Casemiro became an increasingly influential member of Ten Hag's Red Devils team, the Brazilian decided to speak out about his manager in the press.

He admitted being surprised by the Dutchman's obsession to win and again filled Red Devils supporters with optimism.

"I believe that knowing and being in football for quite a while, despite the fact I'm only 30, his obsession for winning is what has surprised me the most," he said. "He's got many strengths. We all know it's a process and we're growing together and we can all see he wants to win.

"His obsession for teaching us and leaving everything perfect to the millimetre, that's key. His obsession for winning is something I've seen in very few managers."

United beat Wolves last time out - their fifth straight victory in the Premier League - and have moved to fourth in the table, two points clear of Tottenham with a game in hand.

One man who has been instrumental in the Red Devils' strong showing in recent weeks is Marcus Rashford - an incredibly talented player who has lacked consistency in the past.

Casemiro has a long history of working with some of the biggest names in football and would have no doubt helped teammates struggling with the weight of playing for Real Madrid during his time in Spain.

Man Utd deadline day live updates as Sabitzer completes loan moveMan Utd deadline day live updates as Sabitzer completes loan move

It will therefore delight Ten Hag and the United faithful to see the Brazilian not only encourage Rashford to keep up this run of good form but to also kick on and improve.

Casemiro's private chat with Man Utd chief and surprising Erik ten Hag opinionCasemiro has had some very positive things to say about Marcus Rashford (AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking to ESPN Brasil after the Red Devils' victory at Molineux, Casemiro said of the England international: "I'm gonna be very honest with you; I was really surprised with the player Rashford is.

"In my opinion, especially knowing the player off the pitch, I can tell you that if he's doing well, he can be one of the top five players in the world. He has an incredible way of hitting the ball, he's got strength, he's quick, is very clever playing.

"He was one of the players that really surprised me. Of course, when you play in a different league you already know the player, but when you're in the same club every day."

Casemiro added on Rashford: "What a spectacular player. I'm enjoying so much playing with him. He gives us a lot of energy. I'm delighted to play with him. And I'm sure if he stays like this, with the conditions he has, he can easily be a top-five player because he's exceptional."

Jake Polden

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