Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has laughed off suggestions that Thomas Partey has played better than Casemiro so far this campaign.
Casemiro has played in 12 games for United so far after making a £70m move from Real Madrid in the summer transfer window. It took him five Premier League games to break into the club’s starting line-up, but since then he has starred for Erik ten Hag’s side.
Partey has also been impressive for Arsenal in their charge to the top of the Premier League, starting eight matches in the top-flight. But Ferdinand is firm in his belief that it is Casemiro who has been the most impressive of the duo.
“Partey is good player, I think he’s a really good player, he’s been really good for you guys. He’s not the right player to play holding midfielder for Man United,” the former United star told Vibe with Five.
“We’re talking about another player many rungs up, many rungs up. It’s like saying before we had Fred and McTominay in the CDM position would you not have taken Partey? Well yes I would have but what does that prove?
“All I’m saying is we’re talking about Casemiro against Partey and I’m saying it’s not a competition. It’s not a competition.”
Ferdinand is under no illusions as to the difference that Casemiro has made to the United team. He hailed the impact of the Brazilian star and insisted that Ten Hag should have deployed him in his starting line-up sooner.
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“Martinez and Varane and Casemiro, what that triangle has done, what that’s done for this team in terms of security, experience, but also allowing other people to go and play. We’ve got controllers in there now,” Ferdinand added.
“How do you prove yourself with cameos of minimal minutes here and there but also why should he have to prove himself? You’re not coming into Man City, you’re not coming into Bayern Munich. You’re coming into a team that needs to improve.
“You’re bringing in someone for £70million, probably £100m overall package minimum, whose won the Champions League a couple of months ago and saying ‘prove yourself to get in this team’.
“It’s not the Man Utd of old. It’s not the Man United of old. It’s Europa League Man United. He isn’t 18-years-old. If Casemiro comes through the door, my man has to be opened, welcome him in and say play because we know what you’re bringing. I’m saying play him.”
The highlight of Casemiro’s time at Old Trafford so far arguably came on Saturday in their trip to Chelsea. Having impressed in midfield, he then headed in a late equaliser to steal a point for United.