Gary Neville has opted in Manchester United’s favour when choosing his Signing of the Season.
As the 2022/2023 Premier League campaign draws to a close this weekend, the former Red Devils captain and Jamie Carragher discussed their end-of-season awards on Monday Night Football.
Carragher opted for a duo of both Morgan Gibbs-White of Nottingham Forest and Manuel Akanji of Manchester City, whilst Neville went for Casemiro.
For years prior to the 2022 summer transfer window, United had been crying out for a dominant, no-nonsense and technical defensive midfielder, and they’ve received exactly that with Casemiro – he does what it says on the tin.
When suspended this term, the squad looked entirely different in his absence; the team looks a little shaky without his control in the middle of the pitch.
He’s also been able to find the back of the net when it matters, too; he netted the opening goal against the run of play to give the Reds the lead in the Carabao Cup final, sending them on their way to ending a six-year trophy drought.
The Brazilian’s last contribution came in last Saturday’s crunch clash with Bournemouth, the only goal of the game, which has all but secured Champions League qualification, a competition that he has won five times, for next season.
Neville explains Casemiro selection
Speaking via Football Daily, Neville said: “I couldn’t think of a player that has had a big an impact on their team singularly, and I look at Manchester United this season, obviously they think they’re going to finish in the top-four, if they finish the job this week, they’ve won the Carabao Cup and they’re in the FA Cup final. I genuinely don’t think they’d be anywhere near top four or doing what they’re doing in those competitions if it wasn’t for Casemiro. I think the impact he’s had on that team is like – he makes them 20 or 30 per cent better.”
When asked if Casemiro can continue to have that impact, he added: “I think this is a signing for now, as in this season. I had doubts about him in terms of the five-year deal and the expense of it. I’ve still got those doubts, I should mention that. But in terms of when he’s not playing and when he is playing, the jump in Manchester United’s quality and performance is enormous.”
Premier League Signing of the Year 🥇@Carra23 – Manuel Akanji/Morgan Gibbs-White@GNev2 – Casemiro
"I couldn't think of a player that has had a bigger impact on their team singularly than Casemiro." pic.twitter.com/ZRvARaarr0
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 22, 2023
Footage courtesy of Football Daily.