The 2023/24 campaign has been a perfect storm for Manchester United, where constant injuries to important players have been coupled with fit squad members performing well below the level expected of them.
While Erik ten Hag is not exempt from blame for Man Utd’s poor start to the season in both the Premier League and the Champions League, he has not been helped by unusual individual errors and the remarkable number of fitness issues. The latest to be added to the list is Casemiro.
The Brazilian midfielder has reported an injury and will not be involved in the game against Sheffield united on Saturday night.
Here’s what we know about the injury to Casemiro and how manchester united could try to get by without him.
How serious is Casemiro’s injury?
The good news for Manchester United is Casemiro’s injury does not seem to be overly serious and he could potentially be back in action before October comes to an end.
In Brazil’s first match of the October international break against Venezuela, Casemiro was replaced late in the game after asking for a change. He was absent for the next training session on Saturday, but came back into the starting XI for the 2-0 loss against Uruguay.
The club have described it as a small injury without going into specifics, which is slightly odd but also not very alarming. Casemiro has stayed in Brazil to undergo treatment rather than fly straight back to Manchester.
The decision to stay in Brazil is likely influenced by his suspension for the upcoming Champions League match against Copenhagen, so there is little reason to rush back to England while in the early stages of the injury.
This is an issue that may have caused fans more concern last season. Casemiro has not started the 2023/24 season very well and many wonder whether he may be declining rapidly, but either way, injuries are not helpful
It is even less helpful considering Sofyan Amrabat picked up an injury of his own while playing for Morocco during the international break. He would have been the natural midfield replacement for the game against Sheffield United on Saturday but, while Ten Hag has said he is available, he may not be able to start the game.
With Man Utd often lining up in a 4-2-3-1, the most common two is Casemiro and Christian Eriksen. Mason Mount is a candidate to play as the more creative-minded player in the midfield two, but if Amrabat is not fully fit, Ten Hag is likely to call upon Scott McTominay.
It would only be fair, given his heroic two late goals against Brentford before the international break which secured a vital three points for Man Utd at Old Trafford. He then continued to play well for Scotland and is looking extremely confident.
There are few other choices for Ten Hag to replace a player like Casemiro. There needs to be some physicality in midfield and McTominay certainly brings that, while there is also a lot to be said for picking confident players.
What has Erik ten Hag said about Casemiro’s injury?
The Manchester United boss was asked about the injury to the Brazilian and confirmed he will not be involved against Sheffield United, also stressing it is not a major issue. He also explained the good news about Raphael Varane and Amrabat.
“Rapha Varane is back, so I think, especially in the backline, I’m very happy with Rapha back and Sergio back,” Ten hag told muvtv ark Sullivan on Friday.
“That’s very good news, of course. It’s disappointing that Casemiro picked up an injury but it’s not too bad. I’m sure and confident he will be back for the next games, so very short notice. The good thing is also that Sofyan Amrabat is available.”
It seems expected that he will be fit to face manchester city on 29 October.