Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag hailed Casemiro’s match-winning performance in their 1-0 victory at Bournemouth and said the midfielder’s “contribution is massive” to the club and he has exceeded expectations.
Casemiro scored in the ninth minute of the match as he produced an acrobatic finish to give United a key win at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday meaning they need just one point from their final two matches to secure a top-four finish and Champions League qualification.
The goal came off the back of a lofted through-ball from Christian Eriksen; Marcos Senesi tried to hold the ball up but inadvertently teed up Casemiro who produced a remarkable scissor kick to fire past Neto.
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When asked if Casemiro has exceeded expectations since his summer move, Ten Hag said: “Absolutely, by far. One of the things that came out of our analysis was that we missed a player in the midfield, we studied this and we searched for this, it was not easy because there are not many in the profile who fits the standard of Manchester United.
“We are happy we found him and his contribution is massive. I think even if you miss him over eight or nine games through suspension— at the start of the season he wasn’t even there, but when he plays, you bring balance to the midfield and we’ve had a lot of wins with this midfield.
“He keeps surprising you. He’s such a brilliant football player. We know him as very good with organisation, anticipation, winning duels, fighting, and keeping the team together but in possession his passing distribution and finishing is very important,” he added.