Erik ten Hag emphasised the advantages of the two playing together at Manchester United and expressed his belief that Kobbie Mainoo can learn from Casemiro.
Mainoo has made 16 appearances for United and scored twice, quickly becoming a star in the team. In contrast, Casemiro’s injury history has restricted him to just 10 Premier League matches. Ten Hag anticipates that Mainoo will grow and learn while playing with the 31-year-old now that they are both healthy.
Ten Hag told reporters: “You can see it. We missed, for over a long period, very important players like Casemiro, like Lisandro Martinez, like Luke Shaw, also others. We discuss that often, but you see the impact of a player when he’s there. Like Casemiro, he gives you calmness and composure on the ball, he gives you options, he sees the vertical pass.
“He is always a step ahead of his opponent and breaks lines. We talk just about the offensive, how they have to serve, but then Casemiro is a very important player for our game so we’re happy he’s back.
“For Kobbie Mainoo, he can learn a lot from it and that togetherness, that bond… also Kobbie is very coachable and Casemiro has so much experience. Kobbie will learn a lot from it and that can even accelerate his development. So yeah, I’m happy to have him back and when they can play together I think they can take benefits from each other.”
United must win their match against Aston Villa on Sunday in order to have any chance of qualifying for the Champions League. Villa is now in fifth place with 46 points, while Ten Hag’s team is in sixth place with 38 points. If United lost, Unai Emery’s team would pass Tottenham, moving them up to fourth position by 11 points.
Mainoo and Casemiro may well play together against Villa as United go in search of a third successive win in the league. They beat West Ham 3-0 last time out.