Man Utd told they should’ve signed Rice or Caicedo as Casemiro fears swirl

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Casemiro is showing Manchester United early warning signs similar to Fabinho at Liverpool last season, according to Jamie Carragher. And the Anfield icon believes Erik ten Hag should’ve targeted Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo or Declan Rice instead of sanctioning the £70million ‘panic buy’.

Casemiro joined United in a big-money deal from Real Madrid late last summer after the club’s failed pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

The Brazilian upgraded Erik ten Hag’s midfield after a disastrous opening two games, helping United end a six-year trophy drought with Carabao Cup glory and return to the Champions League with a third-place finish.

But reservations spread far and wide about Casemiro’s age, now 31, representing a mammoth investment for a short-term fix.

In January, Chelsea splashed a then-British record £107m to sign Benfica’s Fernandez. This summer, they broke their own record by dropping £115m to sign Caicedo from Brighton.

Meanwhile, Arsenal completed a club-record £105m deal for West Ham United captain Declan Rice. Three big outlays, but moves Carragher is convinced are better value than Casemiro.

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“The prices for Fernandez, Rice and Caicedo are astronomical. They are also good deals. The proof of that is the £70m Manchester United paid last summer for Casemiro,” Carragher wrote for The Telegraph.

“The Brazilian will end up costing United more than Arsenal and Chelsea paid for Rice and Caicedo.

“Caicedo and Rice are examples of thinking ahead – going big now to save cash for the next six or seven years in which they will assume their role.

“I never believed Casemiro would be value for money. Not because there is any doubt that he has been a world-class player. But because he is at a stage of his career when he cannot fully repay United’s massive fee.”

Casemiro was often exposed by Wolves’ fast breaks in United’s fortunate 1-0 win on Monday due to Bruno Fernandes and Mason Mount’s attacking tendencies.

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Carragher claims the No 18’s isolated performance against Wolves on Monday proved that Ten Hag needs a younger option at the base of his midfield.

He added: “Every time United toiled in the middle [vs Wolves], the contrast with the youth and vigour Arsenal and Chelsea have secured with their recent midfield purchases became more pronounced.

“It reminded me of seeing Fabinho struggling for Liverpool at the start of last season, a situation briefly fixed when Trent Alexander-Arnold moved alongside him prior to the Brazilian being sold.

“Although it was only one game, it was a worry for United supporters. Ten Hag will need an answer before Saturday’s trip to Tottenham.”

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