Manchester United have finally found their new Roy Keane, according to Paul Scholes
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For years, Manchester United have struggled to pin down a central midfielder with all the qualities needed to challenge for trophies, but that all changed last summer.
After months of speculation surrounding a move for Frenkie de Jong, some raised eyebrows when United decided to spend £70 million on Casemiro, the experienced midfielder with five Champions League titles to his name.
It was a ballsy move on Erik ten Hag's part but to his credit, it didn't take long for the experienced Brazilian to settle into life at Old Trafford.
In fact, you could argue Casemiro has been one of the United's best performers this season alongside the likes of Marcus Rashford, Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw.
The 30-year-old, who has made 40 appearances for club and country this season, has lots of admirers, including former United midfielder Paul Scholes.
Speaking to BT Sport ahead of Thursday's night Europa League clash at the Camp Nou, Scholes said the former Real Madrid man was "as close" to Roy Keane as he has seen at Old Trafford.
"You can see the big difference when he's not in the team. You think of the Arsenal game when he wasn't there," Scholes said.
"I always think about having a coach on the football pitch - almost being the manager on the pitch. For Ten Hag, he's that man. He knows where he wants everybody to be.
"I've said this before, I'm a little bit surprised by the quality of his play - at Madrid it was all about Kroos and Modric. His passes forward, his awareness of people around him, he's been fantastic."
"He's as close to Roy Keane as I've seen." 👏— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 16, 2023
Paul Scholes compares Casemiro to his former midfield partner.#UEL pic.twitter.com/e5q7M72rLj
Scholes added: "People say he's a holding midfield player - I don't see that. I think he does everything. He's as close to Roy Keane as I've seen.
As a Man United midfield player, you should be involved in everything. You should be able to play it forward, you should be able to play it past, and defend."
I'm sure you'll agree that being compared to Keane, a player that lifted seven Premier League titles during a trophy-laden 12 year spell in Manchester, is a serious compliment.
Last month, Keane himself hailed the impact of Casemiro following his big money move from Madrid.
"'He's a huge player for them," he told Sky Sports. "He's a big personality, has won the big trophies before. He affects games, is obviously very good defensively and pretty good on the ball, let me tell you.
"Big strong boy, big personality - he makes the players around him better, that's what great players do.
"We've seen him so far, you're thinking when he came to the club, big signing, big expectations.
"'But he does the simple things well, can see a pass, his awareness - it's not just about winning the ball back, it's about the next bit, it's that bit of quality, that pass, the pace of it. That's what the really good players do."
Thoughts on Casemiro being compared to Keane?
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Featured Image Credit: BT Sport/Alamy
Topics: Roy Keane, Casemiro, Manchester United, Premier League