‘This lad can play’ – Paul Scholes compares Casemiro to Man Utd legend Roy Keane ahead of Barcelona clash


Paul Scholes says Casemiro has been ‘sensational’ for Manchester United (Pictures: Getty)

Paul Scholes has compared ‘sensational’ Casemiro to Old Trafford legend Roy Keane ahead of Manchester United’s Europa League decider against Barcelona.

Brazilian midfielder Casemiro has quickly established himself as one of Erik ten Hag’s most important players following his £70m move from Real Madrid last summer.

The 31-year-old won five Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles during his nine-year spell at the Bernabeu and will aim to lift more silverware with Manchester United.

United could still win four trophies this season and face two huge games in the space of four days starting on Thursday night with the second leg of their Europa League knockout fixture against Barcelona.

The tie is evenly-poised following last week’s thrilling 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp, with Manchester United set to turn their attentions to Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Newcastle United after hosting Barcelona.

‘Casemiro has been sensational this season,’ Scholes told United’s official website ahead of the second leg against Barcelona.

‘He has great experience, winning so many times with Real Madrid as well, and is invaluable to the younger players around the squad.

Casemiro is already a fans' favourite at Old Trafford

Casemiro is already a fans’ favourite at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s almost like he’s a coach on the football pitch. You’ve seen the difference from when he’s come into the team and what he’s made [happen].

‘He has great experience and I don’t think he gets the credit for the way he plays. He is a really good passer of the ball, which surprised me a little bit, when you think you saw Luka Modric and Toni Kroos as the playmakers at Real Madrid.

‘But this lad can play. I’ve heard so many times, as well, that’s he’s probably the best holding midfielder as well. I don’t see him as a holding midfielder.

‘He’s a proper Manchester United midfielder that gets involved in everything. You see him up the pitch, you see him defending, you see him controlling the game at times.

‘He’s probably as close to Roy Keane as you’re going to get. I think he’s been brilliant. I think “holding midfielder” just does him a little bit of an injustice.’

Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves also heaped praise on Casemiro and says Old Trafford legend Sir Alex Ferguson would appreciate his ability to pass the ball forward.

‘The biggest difference Casemiro has made is his first pass is forward,’ Hargreaves said. ‘He breaks up the play as good as anyone but if you watch him, his passing is always forward and that’s what Scholesy did best.

‘Sir Alex always said, in transition, play the ball forward if you can. I think that’s the biggest difference.

‘Obviously, Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes’s balance is brilliant. It’s a shame Eriksen isn’t fit but I think he makes a huge difference.

‘I’m with Scholesy, I think Casemiro’s passing is super underrated as he always plays forward.’

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