Gary Neville says Arsenal star ‘can’t run’ as he defends Man Utd’s Casemiro | Football

Gary Neville has defended Man Utd midfielder Casemiro (Picture: The Overlap)

Gary Neville has defended struggling Manchester United star Casemiro, insisting an Arsenal player has proven it is possible to excel in a Premier League midfield without great pace.

Brazilian legend Casemiro has come in for stinging criticism for his recent performances for the Old Trafford club and was urged to move to Saudi or the MLS by Jamie Carragher after Monday’s 4-0 defeat to Crystal Palace.

Casemiro has dropped into the United defence recently due to the injury crisis that has hampered Erik ten Hag’s squad, but the 32-year-old was badly exposed at Selhurst Park.

Neville believes there is a ‘wider’ issue at Manchester United, however, and says Jorginho has been able to thrive for Premier League leaders Arsenal despite the fact he ‘can’t run’ either.

‘Casemiro is going to be here next season, unless they can get somebody from Saudi Arabia to pay huge money,’ Neville said on the Stick to Football podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet.

‘He’s going to be at Manchester United, so they’ve got to work with him, haven’t they?

‘Jorginho is a good example. Jorginho can’t run – he’s better on the ball, but he can’t run and he was finished at Chelsea.

Manchester United player Casemiro

Casemiro has come in for strong criticism in recent weeks (Picture: Getty)

‘He goes to Arsenal, and he looks a beautiful player in that Arsenal midfield with Declan Rice on one side and [Martin] Odegaard on the other, with that centre back partnership behind him.

‘So, you can play in that position and not run.’

Casemiro is not the only player struggling at Manchester United and Neville believes it would be a different story for the former Real Madrid star and several of his team-mates if they were playing under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

‘There is a wider worry – I went surfing on YouTube this week, and if you look at Jose’s [Mourinho] interviews, [Ralf] Rangnick’s interviews, they’re talking about players being injured too much,’ the former right-back added.

‘The style of play is being questioned, [people are saying] the manager doesn’t know what he’s doing and it’s a graveyard [for players]. It is a rinse and repeat this, now, for four or five times. So, it’s a wider issue that exists.

‘Liverpool didn’t have any midfield at the start of the season. They had Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliot at the club. They signed [Wataru] Endō – would you have swapped Endo for Casemiro and [Sofyan] Amrabat at the start of the season?

‘This is a serious conversation about players at Manchester United, and what happens to them.

‘You’d have taken [Mason] Mount over [Dominik] Szoboszlai, you’d have taken Casemiro or Amrabat over Endo. You’d have taken [Bruno] Fernandes over [Alexis] Mac Allister. You’d have probably taken Kobbie Mainoo over Elliott, you might have taken [Scott] McTominay over Curtis Jones.

Jorginho in action for Premier League leaders Arsenal

Jorginho has impressed for Premier League leaders Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

‘As players – as a five or a six. And, you’ve got Christian Eriksen as well, so you’ve got five or six players in that midfield that I think are good players. They’re not the best, but they’re good players.

‘If you gave Jurgen Klopp in a stable Liverpool that six, and swapped that five from Liverpool into Manchester United, what do you think would happen?

‘That’s my concern [that they’d be better at Liverpool]. Why is every dying on their feet at Old Trafford?’

Manchester United are just eighth in the Premier League with three games remaining. They host title-chasing Arsenal on Sunday before facing Newcastle United and then Brighton on the final day.

Attentions then turn to an FA Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley. City could be looking to complete a domestic double by then as they rival Arsenal for the league title.

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