A prequel to the offbeat 2009 film (500) Days of Summer called 100 Days of Frenkie doesn’t exactly seem promising. There was a lot that took place during Tom’s courting of Summer. The obsession of Manchester United with Frenkie led to almost no progress.
The plotting of United was much more obvious. If we go through the steps in order, we see that the new manager is appointed, has an inkling that his old talisman is within reach, is given unwavering support in the pursuit, a fee is agreed upon and a ballpark salary is settled upon, they stubbornly hold out for the target throughout the preseason, the regular season begins, and they are denuded by teams at home and on the road.
By giving up on finding De Jong this summer, Erik ten Hag has given himself an objective that should keep him busy far into fall. One hundred days after United’s initial pursuit of De Jong, the club announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire defensive midfielder Casemiro.
I think we had a nice basic pre-season,” Ten Hag remarked on Friday at Carrington. “But then our nine, (Anthony) Martial injured, (Cristiano) Ronny not fit, the six holding midfield position is not there,” the manager said, “and in the first game we had two center halves who have not played together, and then the goaltender was not in the best phase.”
Against two teams that have been promoted to the Premier League in the last six years, United was at a loss as Ten Hag sought to construct a 6 out of Fred and then Christian Eriksen.
Casemiro has completed medical tests session in Manchester and he’s just waiting for visa to be sorted, as contract until June 2026 with option for further season has been already completed. 🔴🩺 #MUFC
First training session as new Man Utd player will take place next week. pic.twitter.com/gjfHxlAQSe
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 21, 2022
United’s statement to accompany the announcement for Casemiro was being drafted on Friday afternoon, and Ten Hag was asked if there had been a change in the club’s midfield intentions.
“I suppose in the first press conference I have told you what we need,” he said. Nothing has altered that.
In fact, there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. As early as July 1st, United made it clear they were willing to go the entire window without signing a defensive midfielder, despite Ten Hag’s strong desire to play with Frenkie de Jong.
United insiders named four long-shot candidates: Scott McTominay, Fred, Donny van de Beek, and James Garner. The fact that outstanding midfielders like Roy Keane and Paul Ince weren’t necessarily defensive-minded was brought up by another player. United is a club that seems to be stuck in the 1990s, thus it’s unclear what the point of all this retro nonsense was.
John Murtough, the club’s director of football, is said to have been ready to walk away from a deal including De Jong but instead continued at Ten Hag’s request. During the past six weeks, United has made little progress because of De Jong’s wage deferral dispute at Barcelona.
As I saw Eriksen get gobbled up by Brentford’s Battery Bunnies, I realized that De Jong’s transfer could have been game-changing, but he would have been an easy target. If you Google “no.6 football,” the first bold result will describe a defensive midfielder. No, that’s not De Jong.
And that, my friend, is Casemiro. In the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France, he completed more tackles and interceptions than any other Madrid player, clocking a total of 22.
Although La Liga is more relaxed than the Premier League, Casemiro, Luka Modric, and Toni Kroos have won four consecutive Champions League titles over the past six years, including two victories over Jurgen Klopp’s “pressing monsters.”
Objections about Casemiro’s age are irrelevant. Radamel Falcao and Alexis Sanchez (both 29), Bastian Schweinsteiger (30), Edinson Cavani (33), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (34), Raphal Varane (28), and Cristiano Ronaldo (33). (36).
United is a place where careers are put to rest. De Jong, who is only 25, has every right to fight extradition to Manchester. The nine years Casemiro spent in Spain were decorated with awards, and he leaves with the enduring goodwill of Real Madrid supporters.
This newfound prominence ensures that he will be among United’s highest-paid players. Offering a four-year contract to a four-time Champions League winner who received a pay raise last year with only 13 days left until the transfer deadline is a questionable tactic, especially for a Europa League club.
The sudden change in the environment will undoubtedly cause Casemiro some cultural shock. Unlike United’s average midfielders, he was surrounded by Modric and Kroos, two of the best passers in the world, at the Bernabeu.
At least he recognizes Fred as a name. Four of Brazil’s previous five internationals have included the duo, and they also played together in the last year’s Copa America quarterfinal, semi-final, and final. Fabinho is still a substitute player.
United’s quickness in signing Casemiro after the thrashing at Brentford was out of character. As early as Tuesday night, momentum was building toward a settlement, and by Thursday afternoon, individual terms had been settled upon. Most likely, Casemiro would not have been on United’s radar had they beaten Brighton and Brentford.
Many experts have pointed out that Casemiro is not as fast as McTominay, a midfielder who many would argue does not belong in the Brazilian’s position. The counterargument is that McTominay’s short passing range means he frequently gives up the ball and is forced to chase shadows.
Because United does not have a recruitment plan, nitpicking about it is pointless. Odion Ighalo’s last-minute signing shattered the team’s chosen age range of 23–28, the erroneous preference for British players was dropped, the scouting staff was decimated, and the visionary was gone.
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