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Erik ten Hag talks-up Casemiro influence on Kobbie Mainoo

Erik ten Hag talks-up Casemiro influence on Kobbie Mainoo
© Reuters
Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag explains the importance of Casemiro in the recent form of Kobbie Mainoo.

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has explained the importance of Casemiro in the recent development of Kobbie Mainoo.

Casemiro missed a chunk of football earlier this season due to a muscular problem, but he returned to action at the end of January and has started his team's last two Premier League games alongside Mainoo in midfield.

Mainoo has hit the headlines with a string of excellent performances, and Ten Hag has said that Casemiro is having a big impact on the 18-year-old's rise.

"Yeah, you can see it. We missed for over a long period very important players like Casemiro, like [Lisandro] Martinez, like Luke Shaw," Ten Hag told reporters during his press conference ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash with Aston Villa.

"Also others. We discussed that often, but you see the impact from a player when he's there, like Casemiro. He gives you calmness and composure on the ball, and he gives you options.

Manchester United's Kobbie Mainoo celebrates scoring their fourth goal on February 1, 2024© Reuters

"He does see the vertical pass so he's always a step ahead of his opponent and can break lines. And then we talked just about the offensive [players] and what they need, how they have to serve.

"But then Casemiro is a very important player for our game. So yeah, happy he's back and yeah, for Kobbie Mainoo he can learn a lot from it, that togetherness, that bond also.

"Kobbie is very coachable and Casemiro has so much experience and Kobbie will learn a lot from it. That can even accelerate his development, so yeah happy to have him and when they can play together, I think they can take benefit from each other.

"Casa [Casemiro] he takes also that responsibility. He's taken to him (Mainoo), he's talking to him. I see it in the dressing room, I see it on the pitch in the training, also in games.

Manchester United's Casemiro celebrates scoring their second goal on September 26, 2023© Reuters

"Of course he's looking at his own game, but he's trying to help and to support Kobbie Mainoo, yeah."

Casemiro had been linked with a move away from Man United in January, with clubs from Saudi Arabia believed to be keen to secure his signature in the middle of the campaign.

However, the 31-year-old will finish the season at Old Trafford before a decision is made on his future.

Casemiro and Mainoo will again line up in the middle of the Man United midfield for Sunday's Premier League clash with Villa at Villa Park.

A recent report claimed that the 20-time English champions are currently in discussions with Mainoo's representatives over the possibility of a new long-term deal at the club.

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag pictured on February 1, 2024
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