De Gea identifies Casemiro’s replacement after Man Utd red card

David de Gea is believes Marcel Sabitzer is ready to come in and replace Casemiro with the Manchester United star facing a three-game ban.

Casemiro was shown a straight red card in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace after putting his hands around Will Hughes’ neck during a melee involving players from both sides.

The Brazilian midfielder will be unavailable for United’s matches home and away against Leeds United and the visit of Leicester City on 19 February.

United are already without Christian Eriksen who is out with injury until May with Scott McTominay also facing up to two weeks on the sidelines.

It will mean Sabitzer, who joined on loan from Bayern on transfer deadline day, is likely to come into the starting lineup for that key run of games with de Gea certain he can fill the void left by Casemiro’s absence.

‘It’s going to be tough for sure,’ de Gea said.

‘We already lost Christian, now Casemiro: big players for us. But we have a bigger squad, players are ready to play, everyone is really focused.

‘Sabitzer showed already – he played 15 to 20 minutes and he did really well, made some good tackles, he is good with the ball. And, everyone is ready to play.’

Sabitzer made his debut against Palace on Saturday, coming off the bench to replace Antony with 10 minutes left with Erik ten Hag happy with what he saw.

Asked about the midfielder’s display, Ten Hag told MUTV: ‘Yeah he understands football. You see straight from the start.

‘We have already seen that in the training as well. But, yeah, he did quite well.

‘He’s really composed on the ball and he knows how to defend. We need such a player who understands the game and will bring also the right spirit in.’

The Red Devils moved into third place with their win over Palace are now eight points behind leaders Arsenal, who lost to Everton this weekend.


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