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Wayne Rooney sends Manchester United an uncomfortable truth in a warning about Casemiro transfer

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Wayne Rooney sends Manchester United an uncomfortable truth in a warning about Casemiro transfer

It demonstrates how much of a mess  Manchester United  is in when, as a result of their own failure in the transfer market, they have discovered a player they needed all along.

Frenkie de Jong would have been the big money midfield signing this summer if the club and Erik ten Hag had their way. Instead, El Clasico rival Casemiro is set to leave Spain for Stretford.

Ten Hag recognized United’s lack of a defensive midfielder when he took over the club, but believed that making tactical changes rather than personnel changes would be the best way to compensate for their weak spine.

Instead of prioritizing the addition of a midfield enforcer who could add steel to their stem, he preferred to add some silk, with De Jong viewed as a player who could bring composure and creativity, allowing them to be in control of matches far more frequently and thus be less reliant on defending.

Casemiro’s addition does not address the lack of creativity, but Christian Eriksen’s signing does if he is deployed in a deeper midfield role.

However, given that the move for the Brazil international was reactionary rather than planned, it is unclear which midfield set-up the manager will prefer.

“This goes back to the need to look to the future,” Rooney told The Times of the deal to sign Casemiro.

“Ideally, they should be signing players in their early to mid-twenties, and Casemiro is similar to Christian Eriksen — someone who has been a good player, but are they going to help the club move forward? Frenkie de Jong, Ten Hag’s principal midfield target, would be a better fit.

“The Casemiro deal seems to have come from nowhere, and looks a reactive signing — I’d be surprised if he was a player identified as a priority to bring in when ten Hag arrived. It looks like, having been unable to sign de Jong, United just reacted to Casemiro being available.”

United will no doubt insist that Casemiro is a long-term target who will add immense quality and invaluable experience to their squad, but there is no denying that he was not a long-term target this summer.

It is to the 30-year-old’s  credit that he may turn out to be a valuable addition, but for the £60 million fee paid, a club would normally expect to get a much younger player.

Real Madrid now has a midfield of 19-year-old Eduardo Camavinga and 22-year-old Aurelien Tchouameni, and recent reports suggest that they may look to sign Jude Bellingham this year or next.

The La Liga giants have a long-term strategy, and as a result, they now have a midfield duo that could dominate Europe for the next decade, whereas United’s has a significantly shorter shelf life.

Even with the addition of Casemiro, there is a case to be made that United still require a new midfielder, and if this is not addressed before the deadline, it will be a problem until January at the earliest.

If they truly had a long-term vision, they would have pursued a deal for the Real Madrid star much earlier in the summer and used the remaining time to focus on signing a much younger profile of player who could come in now and eventually work their way into the starting lineup over the coming years.

Instead of being proactive, United is once again being reactive.

Wayne Rooney sends Manchester United an uncomfortable truth in a warning about Casemiro transfer

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