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Man Utd’s Casemiro is proving he’s worth every penny in Qatar

Manchester United raised a fair few eyebrows with their summer business, no less so than with 5 foot 9 central defender Lisandro Martinez.

He has been rock solid for the Red Devils this term but out in Qatar, another of the Dutchman’s first acquisitions is now outshining him.

Indeed, that arrival happens to be that of £70m Casemiro, who jetted to England after a distinguished career as the anchor of a Real Madrid team that completed incredible feats.

Such a fee was met with a few raised eyebrows, with the United hierarchy being accused by pundits of a “desperation” bid, despite the player himself remaining a world-class engine.

For Brazil, Casemiro has occupied the deep-lying midfield role in place of Liverpool’s Fabinho, reaffirming his stature on the world stage and the weight that he holds in the eyes of his managers.

And such a show of faith has been wondrously repaid, with his assurance and unmatched physicality providing Brazil and the squad’s creative flair to bomb forward, crushing the opposition with devastating effect.

Has Casemiro been Utd's best signing?

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Worth every penny

United manager Erik ten Hag described the Brazilian juggernaut as “the cement between the stones” upon completing the lucrative four-year deal, with Casemiro coming off the back of a fifth Champions League triumph, defeating Liverpool in the final for the second time.

Casemiro, still only 30 years old, has been deployed in the defensive slot at the pit pot the midfield, completing the gritty jobs that allowed Toni Kroos and Luka Modric to dominate the centre of the park with such supreme brilliance.

And completing 336 matches for Los Blancos, scoring 31 goals and serving 29 assists, has solidified Casemiro’s standing on the global stage.

In Qatar, he has flourished; as per Sofascore, Casemiro has recorded an average rating of 7.6 throughout the tournament, where he has started all but one match.

With a pass success rate of 84%, an average of 2.7 tackles per match, 1.0 clearances and 2.0 interceptions, the importance of his structured approach is unveiled.

His robust, daring escapades on the pitch allow the other player’s to flourish, and without him there would appear a veritable chasm in the Brazilian ranks, with teammates suffering from his absence, as evidenced by the 1-0 loss in the culminating group fixture against Cameroon, where the anchor was not risked with qualification already secured.

Once dubbed as a “monster” by former Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, the moniker is indeed aptly named, with his ferocious and unflinching attitude to his play a key component by itself.

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As per FBref, the £43m-rated ace ranks incredibly among defensive statistics when compared to midfielders across Europe’s big five leagues, within the top 1% for blocks and aerials won, whilst also within the top 3% for clearances and the top 7% for tackles.

Such metrics offer a clear indication as to why United parted with so much money for a player past his 30th birthday. He might have won it all in Spain, but he is showing little sign of slowing, and might yet lead the Red Devils’ to glory in the coming years.