While Manchester United began the Premier League season with a victory, there were plenty of aspects of their performance against Wolves on Monday night that would have concerned their supporters.
There is no doubt that the home side were very fortunate to come away with three points from the fixture at Old Trafford, with Wolves having been the better team throughout. They missed a number of big scoring opportunities and were denied a clearcut penalty in injury time.
From a Manchester United perspective, the way in which they allowed the opposition to simply play through them will have raised some major red flags. Their midfield was completely overrun, something that could continue to be an issue moving forward when you consider that they fielded their presumed first choice trio in Mason Mount, Bruno Fernandes, and Casemiro.
There had been some worries during the summer that such a midfield could lack the physicality required in the Premier League, something that now seems well founded.
Manchester United fans unhappy with Carragher Casemiro comments
Fernandes and Mount are two attacking players, meaning a huge amount of responsibility will be placed on Casemiro to provide a defensive presence for Manchester United in the middle third.
While he was exemplary for much of last season, he did seem to wain a bit as the campaign went on. That is something that will be of concern, especially when you consider his age and the amount of football he has played over the last decade or so.
Writing in The Telegraph, Jamie Carragher said that despite Casemiro's brilliant performances last season, the huge fee United paid to sign him in the summer of 2022 could end up being a costly move in the long-term.
The prices for Fernandez, Rice and Caicedo are astronomical. They are also good deals. The proof of that is the £70 million Manchester United paid last summer for Casemiro. The Brazilian will end up costing United more than Arsenal and Chelsea paid for Rice and Caicedo.
Caicedo and Rice are examples of thinking ahead – going big now to save cash for the next six or seven years in which they will assume their role.
I never believed Casemiro would be value for money. Not because there is any doubt that he has been a world-class player. But because he is at a stage of his career when he cannot fully repay United’s massive fee.
He was a panic buy when he joined a year ago, bought in the immediate aftermath of the failed pursuit of Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona; an ageing, stellar name signed for big money and on a massive salary to appease increasingly disgruntled fans, despite the fact he will need replacing with a similarly massive outlay two years on.
That is certainly an interesting take.
The market for midfielder has exploded over the last 12 months or so, with to quality players in Casemiro's position now going for £100million. He believes that the short-term move to sign the Brazilian for a comparative fee will prove to be a questionable one as his powers begin to fade.
However, many Manchester United fans have taken exception to the comments, believing that Carragher is wrong in his characterisation of the signing.
Let's go through it
Enzo -shocker of a season last year ✅️
Caicedo -done nothing in terms of trophies or being at a big cub, big risk 100 mill..✅️
Rice-Overhyped by English media 7/10 good pro nothing more ✅️
Casemiro 5xCL winner
1 game V Wolves
— John O’Kane 👹 (@johnaokane) August 18, 2023
Won everything you can win at club football & was left completely alone in the midfield on Monday night. Anybody who watched him when he first came to United last season & after his return from suspension knows it takes him a few games to hit his level.
& Players listed are all… https://t.co/dtFmPnuCYC
— Beth T (@bethTmufc) August 18, 2023
Last season he wrote Martinez off after one game.
This season he’s writing Casemiro off after one game - one of the best DM’s of our generation who is still a year younger than De Bruyne.
We never get these kinds of articles about English players… funny that. https://t.co/Wyin3bB2Re
— Michael (@michaelttfw) August 18, 2023
Ah yes, the start of a new season and Jamie Carragher is once again saying #MUFC players are no good.
Last year it was Martinez, this year it’s Casemiro.
Last year with Licha, Carragher slated him after 2 games.
This year with Casemiro it’s just 1 bad game against Wolves 🤷♂️ https://t.co/jGQZDtr2MA
— Owen 🔰 (@OwenUnitedView) August 18, 2023
One would've expected an ex-pro footballer to see that the system against Wolves was the problem.
So according to you, "he did very well last season", but just ONE game into the season and he's written off? Same thing you did with Licha last season and we know how it ends.
— UF (@UtdFaithfuls) August 18, 2023
Crazy to say this when Caicedo hasn’t even made his debut yet.
— ☈ッ (@TheFergusonWay) August 18, 2023
Casemiro will need to have another fantastic campaign if Manchester United are to compete on all fronts this season.
You would expect him to be up to the job, although Carragher does make some intriguing arguments regarding his long-term future at the club. It will be interesting to see how it plays out over the next couple of years.