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Casemiro wages and contract length after damning Carragher verdict


Manchester United’s season took another sorry turn when Erik ten Hag’s injury-hit side were ransacked by a rampant Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Michael Olise scored twice as the hosts ran out 4-0 winners and it was a particularly chastening night for Casemiro, who was humiliatingly left on the turf by the Palace winger before he netted the opening goal.

The former Real Madrid midfielder was pressed into action as an emergency centre-back for the fourth consecutive match and found himself overwhelmed alongside Jonny Evans — United’s 14th centre-back pairing of 2023/24.

Casemiro was dribbled past seven times on the night, enduring an ordeal far removed from his performances last season. As Ten Hag got United back into the winner’s circle with a Carabao Cup triumph, his €70.65m signing from Madrid was a symbol of their progress.

An outlay that made him the second-most expensive 30-something of all-time behind Cristiano Ronaldo felt justified as Casemiro’s elite experience and mentality elevated United. He scored the opening goal in the Wembley triumph over Newcastle United.

A week later, the Red Devils were hammered 7-0 by Liverpool at Anfield and, in many respects, they have not recovered.

MORE: Is this Man United’s worst-ever Premier League season?

This period has seen Casemiro’s stock fall considerably, from a talismanic leader to an expensive, over-the-hill drain in the popular imagination.

Speaking on Sky Sports after the Palace game, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher tried to speak respectfully regarding Casemiro’s wider achievements as a five-time Champions League winner. But he had no doubt that the 32-year-old’s performances over recent months drew an obvious conclusion.

“I said at halftime that [Ten Hag] had to bring Casemiro off. I know he’s got kids on the bench but I think Casemiro, I am being deadly serious, should know himself tonight as an experienced player, that he should only have another three games at the top level, the next two league games and the [FA] cup final, and thinking I need to go the MLS or Saudi,” Carragher said on Monday Night Football.

“I am being deadly serious. His agent or the people around him need to tell him it has to stop. We are watching one of the greats in modern times, played in one of the best midfielders in modern times – him holding with [Toni] Kross and [Luka] Modric on either side, who could easily go up against the Barcelona midfield we all knew and loved.

“I am nowhere near the level of what that man achieved, but I always remember something when I retired. It was a saying I always remember as a footballer: leave the football before the football leaves you. The football has left him at the top level. He needs to call it a day at this level of football and move.”

The problem with the dignified exit that Carragher outlines is that Casemiro leaving the football would leave an awful lot of money on the table.

Along with the significant transfer outlay to bring him from Madrid to Manchester in 2022, United handed Casemiro a four-year contract running until June 30, 2026.

According to Capology, Casemiro’s basic weekly wage is £350,000. This amounts to an annual salary of £18.2 million ($22.5m/€21.1m) and he has two years of that left to run.

Casemiro also has a projected capacity to earn another £5.2m per year from performance-related bonuses — another £100,000 per week.

The numbers back up Carragher’s assertion that there has been a marked decline in Casemiro’s output over the past year.

In the combative categories where he has always excelled during a stellar career, he is down across the board — making fewer interceptions and recoveries per 90 minutes. Casemiro is making the same number of tackles but is getting dribbled past more frequently by opponents.

The latter metric has been thrown some way out of kilter by what the likes of Olise and Eberechi Eze dished up and you can certainly argue that it’s premature to say a midfielder should end their elite career at a time they’re being forced to play in defence.

There is also the more long-standing issue of United’s woeful lack of midfield balance. Casemiro has been a victim of this at times — Ten Hag unveiling his favoured midfield three of the Brazilian, Bruno Fernandes and new signing Mason Mount, only for them to be completely overrun by Wolves in the first game of this season was particularly galling and set the tone for a wretched campaign.

On the other hand, a youngster with the obvious quality, potential and pedigree of Kobbie Mainoo emerging should be a boon to an elder statesman like Casemiro. In reality, the teenage midfielder has often appeared to thrive despite his more experienced teammate and not because of him.

Casemiro is not United’s biggest problem and is nowhere near the worst signing in this ailing squad, as was suggested in some quarters last night. But he is one of several problems and an expensive one at that. If the exit route Carragher plotted out proves viable then few tears would be shed.

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