Option/replacement for Casemiro

Adnan

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Yup I agree about the general point about the whole back line needing to do it well. Personally I think it's partly on the coach, you have giants like Van De Ven and braindead CBs like Gabriel building up just fine so the fact that we still can't after 2 years of coaching is one of the reasons I don't want Ten Hag around anymore. Even with Varane / Martinez we weren't really successful at evading and looking competent at build up. If anything, Martinez just papers over the cracks because he's a midfielder in disguise at CB.

I was more specifically talking about this type of close control / finding an outlet but during the build up phase at #6. Mainoo could do it and we could stick him at #6 and Onana at #8 but not sure that's the best use of his skills.

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/oPwLhy2MyVQ

And yup, Onana + Mainoo could be interesting.
I don't think the issue right now is the build up phase but rather us not being able to control the game out of possession as a team. Last season we had a issue straight from the GK which enabled capable high pressing teams to cause us problems. But that problem has been improved to a certain extent with a better GK on the ball, but we still need to improve further and there's no question about that. Martinez has missed most of the season and he's absolutely a CB in a approach which centres around building the play and hence progressing the play against the opponent's first lines of pressure within the positional play principles. Press resistance starts from the GK and CBs in such a approach and that's a ideology that is now dominating the top half of the EPL.

But building the play from the back also involves creating triangles (rondos) and hence connecting with the fullbacks and midfielders to then play out from the back against the press. We've brought through one player in midfield (Mainoo) who fits the bill in that regard but unfortunately injuries have meant that we haven't seen the likes of Shaw, Martinez, Mainoo and even Dalot together which help the coach drill the team on the training ground to such an extent where the automatisms become consistent. It's absolutely fine to criticise the coach but IMO building play from the back absolutely requires the collective in the first phase to be drilled to play together which then forms the automatisms that become second nature to the players and a rythym starts to develop. I've seen evidence from Ajax in the Champions league against some of the strongest teams in the competition under ten Hag that he can coach a team to build play from the back, press high collectively and defend transitions. Every coach that looks to play with risk will succumb to the transition from time to time but ten Hag made that Ajax team punch above their weight playing a brand of football that was pleasing on the eye but also effective whilst losing several key players and still maintaining a competitive team by inverting his fullbacks to build the play in tandem with the CBs. So is it a coaching issue or a personnel issue? IMO it's a personnel issue which has a knock-on effect on how you coach the team. I can go into more detail but I'll leave it that for now.

CBs like Van de Ven and Gabriel are good channel defenders and can defend on the front foot and help control or contain the opposition's quick transitions. Gabriel may not be the best on the ball and Saliba isn't that great aerially, but in tandem with the likes of Xhaka and Partey, who are midfielders, they control the defensive transitions really well. And since then they've sold Xhaka and replaced him with Declan Rice. So it's not about having one CB in Varane but it's about having a collective group in rest defense who will help you squeeze the pitch in a high line and maintain compactness. Spurs with Van den Ven who is one of the quickest CBs in the league forms a strong rest defense with Romero next to him and Bissouma, Sarr in midfield who are quick and athletic and cover ground quickly. And that makes a big difference when looking to sacrifice defensive stability for goals because you've got pace and power all across the pitch to thwart the transitions. We don't have those options but attempts were made to sign Amadou Onana and Todibo in the summer.

I think if you give the below team to ten Hag or any coach, then you will see their full coaching potential come to the fore. If it doesn't then I'd say time for a change. But I think Graham Potter will be our head coach next season.

I think we need to move on from Shaw and if we can't sign Tchouameni then someone like Onana or Lucas Gourna-Douath would be good as well. I'd also look to sign someone like Varela. The Endo clip that you posted isn't really difficult for players like Varela Mainoo or even Tchouameni or Onana who have their own style of beating the opposition when dribbling.

-------------------------Hojlund-------------------
-----Williams---------Mount----------Olise------
---------------Tchouameni----Mainoo-----------
----Shaw---Branthwaite---Diomande---Dalot---
---------------------------Onana---------------
 

aeh1991

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I like the idea of replacing Casemiro with Onana. But I'd also buy Kephren Thuram as he has one year left on his contract and is owned by Nice. So we could get him for cheap. He brings the height, technique, press-resistence, passing skills, energy and mentality to play for us, it's almost a no-brainer. Also only 22 yet and already French NT player. He is best used as a B2B so he'd suit both Mainoo and Onana. I am sure INEOS will at least discuss about him.
 

CasaStreets

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But as per usual, there was no foresight attached to this one, a huge fee, a huge salary and a long term contract for a player the wrong side of 30, I think he still has 3 years left after this season..?
Two years left after this season - it was a 4 year deal.

After this season he’ll have already amortized 30 of the 60mil on FFP. If we can sell him for 20m this summer it wouldn’t be the worst business on an FFP basis, considering he was frankly the signing that secured us CL football (+40mil) for this season.

Still, yes, obviously would have been much better to take a long term approach.
 

Invictus

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I like the idea of replacing Casemiro with Onana. But I'd also buy Kephren Thuram as he has one year left on his contract and is owned by Nice. So we could get him for cheap. He brings the height, technique, press-resistence, passing skills, energy and mentality to play for us, it's almost a no-brainer. Also only 22 yet and already French NT player. He is best used as a B2B so he'd suit both Mainoo and Onana. I am sure INEOS will at least discuss about him.
To be honest, it's a bit confounding that folk still want midfields that are not the most consistently effortless, imaginative, blessed with a sense of pausa, or profound in terms of passing nous at large (and can't be developed along those lines either), even after they have borne witness to the staggering high-possession + high-press dominance of that blue club. Liverpool is cited as an outfit that was proactive and went toe-toe-toe against them with relatively workmanlike midfielders, but a lot of concerns were mitigated by the playmaking expertise of Firmino, Alexander-Arnold and Robertson as well as progressive tweaking by Klopp and Ljinders, and when all was said and done, they managed to eke out just 1 league title versus 6 for Manchester City. Here's a surface-level side by side comparison of the “centrocampista de control” lad in your post vis-à-vis their analogue, in case there was any doubt regarding the gulf in class in possession (specifially, foundational passing metrics). And worryingly, not all of these readily apparent disparities can be contextualized, papered over, or drastically improved upon with the passage of time...

 

aeh1991

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Apparently United scouts were watching Koopmeiners scoring a brace against Juventus. He'd bring leadership and goal scoring abilities alongside other skills.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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If Casemiro goes in the summer, we'd have no specialist holding midfielder in our squad. Therefore, its imperative that if we do sign a replacement, it has to be someone who can hold down that 6 role.

Now, it terms of profile, it's a tough one. Should we acquire a deep-lying playmaker i.e. Rodri, Jorginho or should we look to purchase a ball winner i.e. Palhinha, Gomes, etc.

I'm inclined to say deep-lying playmaker, simply because you don't really see any out and out destroyer type holding midfielders at the top European clubs. Their ball winning comes from their off the ball structure and pressing off the ball as a unit.

So, lets say we do replace Casemiro with a deep-lying playmaker, you'd imagine we'd be much better at building play and keeping onto the ball, thus pegging teams back better than we currently do.

Options:

Martin Zubimendi
Alan Varela
Aleix Garcia
Joshua Kimmich
José Luis García Vayá (Pepelu)
Boubacar Kamara



Bruno/McTominay - Mount/Mainoo
Mainoo/New CDM
 
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daba

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If Casemiro goes in the summer, we'd have no specialist holding midfielder in our squad. Therefore, its imperative that if we do sign a replacement, it has to be someone who can hold down that 6 role.

Now, it terms of profile, it's a tough one. Should we acquire a deep-lying playmaker i.e. Rodri, Jorginho or should we look to purchase a ball winner i.e. Palhinha, Gomes, etc.

I'm inclined to say deep-lying playmaker, simply because you don't really see any out and out destroyer type holding midfielders at the top European clubs. Their ball winning comes from their off the ball structure and pressing off the ball as a unit.

So, lets say we do replace Casemiro with a deep-lying playmaker, you'd imagine we'd be much better at building play and keeping onto the ball, thus pegging teams back better than we currently do.

Options:

Martin Zubimendi
Alan Varela
Aleix Garcia
Joshua Kimmich
José Luis García Vayá (Pepelu)
Boubacar Kamara



Bruno/McTominay - Mount/Mainoo
Mainoo/New CDM
I like Varela from what I’ve seen of him and is at the perfect age (will be 23 in July) to come in as an immediate starter for us and continue to improve.

Kamara would also be very good but now very expensive. Can’t believe we passed up on him for free and went for Casemiro (I believe it was the same summer?). That’s the kind of behaviour I believe INEOS will put a stop to.

I also like the look of the Ecuador youngster Oscar Zambrano who is a very similar DLP to Varela from what I’ve seen. He would be very cheap (less than €10m probably) and could be loaned out to Lausanne or Nice to develop depending on what level we think he is at.

The final player I like the look of is Archie Gray at Leeds who looks like a Declan Rice regen but with more agility / press resistance. He’ll be far more expensive than Zambrano but if Leeds don’t get promoted (they are joint top right now but only 1 point off 3rd) then we should really test them with a decent bid. I also personally wouldn’t send him back to Leeds on loan as we could better manage his minutes with him at home.
 

André Dominguez

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I think Danilo from Forrest has potential to become a very good anchor midfielder. His defensive stats are very good and I'm sure that his attacking stats will develop.
If they go down we could get him on a less expensive deal.
 

MO_Football92

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If Casemiro goes in the summer, we'd have no specialist holding midfielder in our squad. Therefore, its imperative that if we do sign a replacement, it has to be someone who can hold down that 6 role.

Now, it terms of profile, it's a tough one. Should we acquire a deep-lying playmaker i.e. Rodri, Jorginho or should we look to purchase a ball winner i.e. Palhinha, Gomes, etc.

I'm inclined to say deep-lying playmaker, simply because you don't really see any out and out destroyer type holding midfielders at the top European clubs. Their ball winning comes from their off the ball structure and pressing off the ball as a unit.

So, lets say we do replace Casemiro with a deep-lying playmaker, you'd imagine we'd be much better at building play and keeping onto the ball, thus pegging teams back better than we currently do.

Options:

Martin Zubimendi
Alan Varela
Aleix Garcia
Joshua Kimmich
José Luis García Vayá (Pepelu)
Boubacar Kamara



Bruno/McTominay - Mount/Mainoo
Mainoo/New CDM
Rice is a ball winner at a top team
 

eire-red

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To be honest, it's a bit confounding that folk still want midfields that are not the most consistently effortless, imaginative, blessed with a sense of pausa, or profound in terms of passing nous at large (and can't be developed along those lines either), even after they have borne witness to the staggering high-possession + high-press dominance of that blue club. Liverpool is cited as an outfit that was proactive and went toe-toe-toe against them with relatively workmanlike midfielders, but a lot of concerns were mitigated by the playmaking expertise of Firmino, Alexander-Arnold and Robertson as well as progressive tweaking by Klopp and Ljinders, and when all was said and done, they managed to eke out just 1 league title versus 6 for Manchester City. Here's a surface-level side by side comparison of the “centrocampista de control” lad in your post vis-à-vis their analogue, in case there was any doubt regarding the gulf in class in possession (specifially, foundational passing metrics). And worryingly, not all of these readily apparent disparities can be contextualized, papered over, or drastically improved upon with the passage of time...

I posted something similar to this in the Onana thread, but you have composed your post in a much more eloquent way.

I think Onana is a good player, I like some of his attributes. He'd be good for West Ham, or he'd be good for us against the bottom half of the table. He'd look good when surrounded by Bruno, Mainoo, Rashford and Garnacho providing that creative spark. Sounds a lot like McTominay to me, and we already have him, albeit Onana operates deeper, but the same principle applies.

I don't know why people want good anymore. Players at United are ultimately judged in the biggest games. Liverpool, City, Arsenal, CL knock-outs. Onana will be fine for 60% of the games we play, but is he really who you want in midfield coming down the home stretch in a title challenge, deep in the CL knock outs and Mainoo picks up an injury? Is he good enough to be a dynamic midfield maestro, capable of dictating our play?

I just can't see it in a million years with him. We need to be looking at Kross, Rodri, Kimmich profile players. I refuse to believe that there aren't any out there, because City, Real, Bayern.. all the top sides consistently have best in class midfielders. And we'll stay where we are if we replace Casemiro with Onana.
 

LawCharltonBest

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I think Mainoo, Garnacho & Hojlund are going to be good players, but I don't think they're leaders.

I'd go for a younger player in the DM role (early 20's) with a big personality who looks like he is going to become a leader
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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I think Mainoo, Garnacho & Hojlund are going to be good players, but I don't think they're leaders.

I'd go for a younger player in the DM role (early 20's) with a big personality who looks like he is going to become a leader
Any players in mind?

In hindsight, Rice would have been perfect, in my opinion.
 

LawCharltonBest

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Any players in mind?

In hindsight, Rice would have been perfect, in my opinion.
Nobody in mind, just a key quality I would look for. And I agree Rice would be perfect. He is what a United player should be. Hopefully we stop missing out on these types of players once Ashworth and the new recruitment team are in place
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Nobody in mind, just a key quality I would look for. And I agree Rice would be perfect. He is what a United player should be. Hopefully we stop missing out on these types of players once Ashworth and the new recruitment team are in place
What are your thoughts on Amadou Onana, who seems to be the Cafs new favourite this week?
 

Cassidy

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Any players in mind?

In hindsight, Rice would have been perfect, in my opinion.
Its a shame we were broke / FFP constrained last summer as we were clearly interested

Have to admit I didn't believe he was this good. Thought he would be decent but hes been very good this season I have to say
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Don’t really see it but I haven’t seen him much. Yourself?
I think, if we're to sign a Casemiro replacement, then it has to be someone who is solid defensively. Of course, that means sacrificing some ability on the ball, but that's where you'd expect Bruno and Mainoo to come into play.

I'm not sure Onana would be my first choice, but I would totally understand if ten Hag was to buy him in the summer. He has PL experience, he's a absolute unit, defensively solid, good in the air and covers the ground well.

I mentioned in another thread that ten Hag had a midfield three of Berghuis, Gravenberch and Alvarez at an Ajax side who didn't struggle to keep the ball, albeit in an inferior league (they did it in the CL too, to be fair). Therefore, I believe, if we were to get our balance of midfield right, I don't see why Onana, or any other combative midfielder couldn't work.
 

MO_Football92

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I'd argue Rice is much more than a ball winner, but you've looked much better with Jorginho (deep-lying playmaker) Rice and Odegaard as the 8's, in my opinion.
Yh, that's true; more balanced. Only concern is, Rice in his interview the other day said he feels more comfortable as a 6
 

DJ_21

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Any players in mind?

In hindsight, Rice would have been perfect, in my opinion.
Ye he’d of made us such a better team aswell. Think the price put a lot of clubs of but as I’ve mentioned previously, the price only gets talked about if they fail to live up to expectations. If it turns out to be a top signing then it’s 100m+ well spent.
 

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i vote for Everton Onana. Double Onana is double trouble commentator.

Seriously. He has that aggressive and fighting spirit mentality. Tall but quick in the first metres and with good tackles too.
Onana seems like an excellent player in a double pivot but I remain to be convinced about him as a single pivot. I think this is an important consideration because of Mainoo’s development. Mainoo will play as an 8 if we have any sense. He’s got too much to offer going forwards, passing between the lines, to be played as the deepest midfielder. I’d be thinking of us having an all conquering DM who would have to be extremely mobile and excellent at receiving the ball under pressure and then finding a forward pass to Mainoo or our most advanced midfielder (Bruno or Mount). I don’t think Onana is that player.

I think he’s physically very impressive and has a lot to his game, but as a single pivot don’t think he’s got the technical ability to receive it under pressure and do anything but play it back. And I think that will hurt our build up. If we play a true double pivot system, then I think he works, but otherwise I’m looking at Tchouameni (ideally) or Gomes. Players who are more mobile and agile.
 

RedRocket08

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Exequiel Palacios or Maxence Caqueret for me
I like both but aren’t they more like central / B2B midfielders, or can they slot into a single pivot DM role?

What do you think of Alan Varela at Porto by the way? He does play in like a double pivot over there but I thought he had good games against Arsenal in the CL.
 

Isotope

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Onana seems like an excellent player in a double pivot but I remain to be convinced about him as a single pivot. I think this is an important consideration because of Mainoo’s development. Mainoo will play as an 8 if we have any sense. He’s got too much to offer going forwards, passing between the lines, to be played as the deepest midfielder. I’d be thinking of us having an all conquering DM who would have to be extremely mobile and excellent at receiving the ball under pressure and then finding a forward pass to Mainoo or our most advanced midfielder (Bruno or Mount). I don’t think Onana is that player.

I think he’s physically very impressive and has a lot to his game, but as a single pivot don’t think he’s got the technical ability to receive it under pressure and do anything but play it back. And I think that will hurt our build up. If we play a true double pivot system, then I think he works, but otherwise I’m looking at Tchouameni (ideally) or Gomes. Players who are more mobile and agile.
If Caicedo falls out of favor at Chelsea, we should try to get him (at a discounted price). I think he can fit that single pivot that contribute build up play.
 
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I like both but aren’t they more like central / B2B midfielders, or can they slot into a single pivot DM role?
They both have experience as single pivots in a 4-3-3. Plus currently play the more defensive told in double pivot set ups

What do you think of Alan Varela at Porto by the way? He does play in like a double pivot over there but I thought he had good games against Arsenal in the CL.
He was a pleasant surprise. Hadn't watched him closely till the two legs vs Arsenal. He reminds my of old school German 6 Casten Ranelow. A terrier, with supreme tactical and postional sense. Simple yet flawless in possesion. Yet able to be even more expressive when required. Portugal really knows how to produce pivot players.
 

gajender

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They both have experience as single pivots in a 4-3-3. Plus currently play the more defensive told in double pivot set ups


He was a pleasant surprise. Hadn't watched him closely till the two legs vs Arsenal. He reminds my of old school German 6 Casten Ranelow. A terrier, with supreme tactical and postional sense. Simple yet flawless in possesion. Yet able to be even more expressive when required. Portugal really knows how to produce pivot players.
Well Varela is Argentine who had plenty of first team experience at Club level before moving to Porto last Summer , How can you even give credit to Portugal for producing him .
 
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Well Varela is Argentine who had plenty of first team experience at Club level before moving to Porto last Summer , How can you even give credit to Portugal for producing him .
I won't lie. I didn't know much about his history. I just made that assumption because Portuguese football has become abnormally good at recruiting and developing pivots. Thats all:o
 

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I don't see Casemiro leaving - his ridiculous wages and contract length, why would he? Even the Saudi league won't match that I doubt. United don't have the money or movement in FFP to buy a replacement until he goes. It's pretty much the same with Varane.
Casemiro has been a handbrake to our midfield this season and it's a shame we can't move him on but it's entirely the clubs fault.
 
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Well Varela is Argentine who had plenty of first team experience at Club level before moving to Porto last Summer , How can you even give credit to Portugal for producing him .
I won't lie. I didn't much about his history. I just made that assumption because Portuguese football has become abnormally good at recruiting and developing pivots. That's all:lol::o
 

Dannn411

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A DM who is positionally disciplined, can control tempo and can pass the ball at a high level of accuracy, range and consistency. Basically a Rodri regen.
 

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A DM who is positionally disciplined, can control tempo and can pass the ball at a high level of accuracy, range and consistency. Basically a Rodri regen.
Someone in here mentioned Douglas Luiz, and while I at first found it very unlikely, I am starting to think it could be a very likely option:

- His contract is up in 2026. He will either renew or Villa will consider selling,
- Villa will struggle with FFP. They dont have many players with significant sale value and low book value (I assume they will rather try to keep Watkins and homegrown Konsa who both are on long term deals).
- Our new CEO know him well

PL-proven at a high level and is about to enter his peak years (26 to 32).
 

Bondi77

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We are going to be stuck with Casemiro so get used to it.
He is being paid a fortune and he just does what he wants to do and does not give a feck!
 

Dannn411

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Someone in here mentioned Douglas Luiz, and while I at first found it very unlikely, I am starting to think it could be a very likely option:

- His contract is up in 2026. He will either renew or Villa will consider selling,
- Villa will struggle with FFP. They dont have many players with significant sale value and low book value (I assume they will rather try to keep Watkins and homegrown Konsa who both are on long term deals).
- Our new CEO know him well

PL-proven at a high level and is about to enter his peak years (26 to 32).
Good shout and someone i'd like us to sign but two things.
First, is he a stay at home DM? Strikes me as more of a traditional CM who can join the attack and drop back when needed. I guess that would be better cuz we could use him in more situations and formations.

The second thing is the money. Villa, a PL club flying high right now and on the verge of the CL/UEL, don't really have a reason to sell. So they will ask for heaven and earth and in our current predicament I don't think we are in a position to drop big money for signings.
 
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Someone in here mentioned Douglas Luiz, and while I at first found it very unlikely, I am starting to think it could be a very likely option:

- His contract is up in 2026. He will either renew or Villa will consider selling,
- Villa will struggle with FFP. They dont have many players with significant sale value and low book value (I assume they will rather try to keep Watkins and homegrown Konsa who both are on long term deals).
- Our new CEO know him well

PL-proven at a high level and is about to enter his peak years (26 to 32).
He'd make a very good partner for Mainoo. The issue though is he'd cost an arm, a leg, a kidney and part of a liver....