Erik ten Hag explains Casemiro's lack of game time after he sits out Man City loss

Erik ten Hag claims Casemiro must come into the team “in a natural way” after the Manchester United midfielder was overlooked for selection once again.

The Red Devils were hammered in the Manchester derby at the Etihad, which only served to highlight Ten Hag’s divisive team sheet. Casemiro, who was signed from Real Madrid for £70m, is still awaiting his first start in the Premier League and wasn’t handed a start for the clash with Manchester City.

Casemiro was introduced on the hour, replacing Scott McTominay, who has retained his starting role despite the Brazilian’s arrival. United got their first win of the season on the day they unveiled Casemiro and had won four on the bounce since – which Ten Hag suggested was behind his decision to stick with a winning team.

He said: “On the day we signed him, we started to win and it’s about the team. The team is doing really well, it’s not against Casemiro, it’s for, in this case, Scott McTominay. He performed great in the team and then we get into a run, but I’m sure it will be important for us in the long and short-term. He will find himself in the team but it has to come in a natural way.”

Casemiro’s huge wages coupled with his success at Real Madrid, where he won five Champions Leagues, has left many surprised by his sporadic usage. All of his appearances thus far have come from the bench.

The manner in which United’s midfield struggled to contain City’s relentless waves of attacks only shone a light on Casemiro’s omission. He has previously excelled as a holding midfield in Spain, known for breaking up opposition attacks, which may have made an impact on Sunday

erik ten hag explains casemiro's lack of game time after he sits out man city loss

The Brazilian was, once again, introduced as a substitute

Should Casemiro be starting for Man Utd? Comment below

Former United man Rio Ferdinand believes the 30-year-old’s continued snub won’t be sitting well with the new arrival as he suggested Ten Hag’s team selection will leave the Brazilian feeling disrespected despite only being in Manchester for a matter of weeks.

He told his FIVE YouTube channel: “I wonder the impact it’s having on someone like him. Yes he’s experience and whatnot, but he must be sitting there thinking, ‘wow, I’m happy to be here at Man United but I’m feeling a little bit disrespected here, given what I’ve done’. I’d be surprised if he’s not feeling like that.”

Ten Hag has opted to play with Christian Eriksen alongside McTominay at the base of midfield, but the pair were ran ragged by City on Sunday. The reverse could present the United boss with the opportunity to switch things up and introduce Casemiro after their latest reality check at the Etihad.

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