Casemiro speaks out on playing at centre-back following tough second season

Manchester United have just two games to play this season as Erik ten Hag’s second campaign in charge of the club comes to an end.

The Dutchman has endured a tough second year at the club and many of the high-performing stars from last season have had a similar experience in the second year.

Casemiro, who was praised as one of the Premier League’s best signings this time last year, falls into that category. The Brazil international has looked sluggish and has even been dropped from the senior Brazil squad going into this summer’s Copa America.

United’s neverending injury struggles have also meant that Casemiro has been played out of position recently, often finding himself at centre-back.

Speaking ahead of the final Premier League outing, the five-time Champions League winner has insisted that he will play wherever he can help the team.

“I mean I’ve done it probably two or three times, in my time at Real Madrid, playing centre-half,” Casemiro is quoted as saying by the official Manchester United website.

“But everyone knows that I am a central midfielder. It’s not a role that I like to do but, you know what, I do it with the absolute best will in the world.

“As soon as the manager asks the question: ‘Would you be able to play in that role?’ Of course, I would. Absolutely. I do it to help the team, the manager, the clubs, the fans. That is what you do. And I do it, as I say, because I’m delighted to help out if I can.

“I know it’s something which, you use the word ‘adapted’, and it’s something that I’ve tried to do to help the side but, yeah, I’m a central midfield player. All my life, all my career. Obviously, that is where I prefer to play.”

Lisandro Martinez made his long-awaited return from injury earlier this week against Newcastle but it remains to be seen whether he will be passed fit to feature in next week’s FA Cup final.

If that is the case, it is likely that Casemiro will be moved back up to midfield alongside Kobbie Mainoo, with Martinez partnering Jonny Evans or Harry Maguire.

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