With the passing of this new test, Casemiro’s potential for leadership at Manchester United is strengthened.
The Brazilian midfielder wore the armband during Saturday’s friendly loss to Morocco by a score of 2-1.
One of the major concerns Erik ten Hag must address this summer is the captaincy discussion.
Harry Maguire, the current captain of Manchester United, has fallen out of favor for a long, and while it is customary for a club captain to play only a small part in the first team, it seems unlikely that he will stay at Old Trafford through this season. There seems to be only one candidate for the job if he decides to quit the club in the summer.
Bruno Fernandes has worn the armband in Maguire’s absence, and his ability to do so was not questioned until recently. The Portuguese midfielder’s actions during the 7-0 loss to Liverpool prompted many to reconsider whether he is a good fit for the position full-time.
While dismissing him as a full-time replacement for Maguire based solely on one performance would have been harsh, it is understandable that his actions at Anfield prompted other options to be considered. As a result, another candidate for the position emerged over the weekend.
For the first time, Casemiro was given the Brazil armband for the international friendly against Morocco. While the outcome favored his national team, his performance under the pressure of captaincy did not falter.
Critics have claimed that Maguire’s ability to perform was hampered by the pressure of being captain at United. Ask Gary Neville, Roy Keane, Bryan Robson, or anyone else who has previously held that position, and they will all tell you the same thing. Being the Reds’ locker room leader is a huge responsibility.
On Saturday, Casemiro did not feel weighed down by the armband. He led from the front, and his goal of raising the Samba Boys’ level demonstrated how he can raise his game even when his team is up against it.
His professional experience also qualifies him as a player whose opinion matters. Casemiro has been there and done it at the highest club level, and his achievements demand the respect that the role demands.
Ten Hag has previously stated that Casemiro’s limited command of the English language prevented him from receiving the armband, and this could be an issue again at the end of the season when the final decision is made. However, if the Brazilian is passed over, it will not be due to a lack of leadership abilities.
He has demonstrated that he is more than capable of leading that locker room.