Casemiro's masterclass shows what Chelsea are missing in Manchester United draw

Carlos Casemiro of Manchester United and Carney Chukwuemeka of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on October 22, 2022 in London, England.

83 per cent pass accuracy, 68 touches, 10 ball recoveries, six ground duels won, six long balls completed, four tackles won, three clearances and one goal.

It’s safe to say Casemiro had a brilliant game at Stamford Bridge in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Saturday evening. The Brazil international started in a midfield three alongside Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen and was the deepest man in the middle for the visitors in west London.

“That is why we brought him in,” Man United boss Erik ten Hag said on Casemiro after the game. “We know he is capable to do that. He proved it in Spain, he proved it in the Champions League, so the highest level.

“So he could also do it in the Premier League. But it’s clear the Premier League is a different league, especially with the intensity, so he needed a short period to adapt to that.

“And now, from game to game, you see him growing and how important it is for our game. He brings the composure, he brings the organisation, and he even scores a goal, and then you bring a lot to the team.”

Chelsea have been crying out for someone who can play the Casemiro role for years now. N’Golo Kante can play as the defensive midfielder, but his skill set is perhaps more suited to being a box-to-box player instead. Not to mention his consistent injuries in recent times.

Jorginho plays deep, but the defensive side of his game – breaking up play, interceptions etc – is not the strongest. The Blues did, of course, bring in Denis Zakaria on deadline day, but the midfielder is yet to make an appearance for his new club, and there are murmurs he could return to Juventus in the mid-season window.

Casemiro showed his all-round game on Saturday night. He was very calm, composed and controlled while in possession, while constantly breaking up any Chelsea attacks.

Chelsea were very interested in signing Edson Alvarez towards the end of the summer transfer window. The Blues submitted a £43million offer to Ajax for the midfielder, but the Dutch club turned down the bid.

The Mexican midfielder is someone who has been tracked by the club for a long time now. Alvarez is someone like Casemiro, who is confident on the ball and can dictate a game with his passing ability.

The 24-year-old is also very strong in aerial duels and reading the game to anticipate interceptions. Ajax are notoriously a selling club, and should Chelsea reignite their interest in January or the summer as expected, then they could be tempted to sell the midfielder.

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