This is not a Glazer face-saving article. The Glazers are parasites and must go for Manchester United to become the football club, and business, they were a decade ago. That is obvious and clear.
In the last 48 hours the club have been heavily linked with a move for Real Madrid and Brazil holding midfielder Casemiro in a £60m deal that will see him earn monstrous wages at Old Trafford.
The reaction online from the fan base has been mixed, bafflingly. I want to pose a question. If you had been told at the start of the window that Erik Ten Hag wanted to sign Casemiro for the holding midfield position, would anyone have complained?
I’d hedge my bets to say no. But that’s neither here nor there. Fans are annoyed/worried/unnerved by the fact that there seems to be no plan. Shock. Same old Manchester United.
Ten Hag seemingly planned to play Frenkie De Jong as a lone number six behind Fred and Bruno Fernandes this season, which should have immediately thrown up red flags to anyone who has any sort of tactical sense.
There have also been links in recent days to Moises Caicedo, a player who the club apparently turned down in January 2021 before he joined Brighton because they didn’t want to deal with multiple agents. They now face paying almost 5x the transfer fee to bring him in.
Players like Matheus Nunes, Yves Bissouma, Renato Sanches and Fabian Ruiz have all moved clubs this summer in central midfield and would have been a huge boost to the squad.
Others like Ruben Neves and Youri Tielemans are just waiting for someone to come in and make a bid to take them away from their club. Yet United waited for someone who was a giant gamble and didn’t want to come anyway.
Now Casemiro is linked with coming in and with fans so annoyed and angry at the club, and anti-Glazer protests in full swing, they’ve decided to take a negative swing at everything.
Casemiro is 30-years-old and has just won his fifth Champions League title, in which he was key in every one of them. He also just won La Liga again, as well as the UEFA Super Cup and is the starting defensive midfielder for the Brazil national team, ahead of Liverpool’s Fabinho for one.
Yet if you look at the reaction, you’d think he was 36 and a bit-part player over the last few years, demanding a wage he no longer deserves.
If United were run properly, they probably wouldn’t sign Casemiro this summer for £60m on £300,000 per-week wages. But they aren’t run properly.
If United were run properly, they would have addressed their midfield issues over the last few years and not tried to do it in one window. But they aren’t run properly.
If United were run properly, they’d be using their giant scouting network to sign players early before they explode on the world scene and cost £50m a pop. But they aren’t run properly.
So what they have currently is a need to fix the current team which isn’t good enough, but also build a squad that can compete in the long-term too. Obviously it’s not possible to do this all in one window, but making a start would’ve been nice.
With what the club have currently, signing Casemiro isn’t enough. He doesn’t solve all the problems they have in midfield, he doesn’t single handedly save the team. But what he does do is injects quality into a position they’ve been crying out for since Michael Carrick retired.
He will be one of the top two defensive midfielders in the division without a doubt. He’s a proven winner, with a winning mentality and standards that he refuses to let drop. He’s an immediate upgrade to anything we’ve had in that role over the last decade and he’s in his prime.
Forget the money, because it’s there to be spent right now. The best players deserve the big wages and that’s what he is. Will he be that for the entirety of his proposed four-year contract? It’s unlikely, but right now he’s worth it.
He improves an area of the team that has been left to rot and adds more character and mentality to a weak and fragile squad. People can question his intentions for joining, but if his performances match up to his ability nobody will care.
The Glazers do nothing for this club, so the club must rely on itself to get out of the hole it’s in right now. That means finding the right balance between improving the lineup and building a squad simultaneously.
Another midfielder or two (preferably younger ones), a right-back, a goalkeeper, a winger and a striker are all needed at the club just to balance the squad out. They won’t all come this year. And probably not next year.
But if Casemiro does join then you can be sure that the midfield has been strengthened greatly, and that’s what many fans asked for this summer. It needs more, but it’s a decent start.
He’s not the ideal signing if the club had been run properly and there was a plan in place, because bringing in a 30-year-old is rarely seen as the right thing. But one step at a time, to get back there, the team must improve.
Casemiro does that.