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Man Utd star Casemiro has shamed two Old Trafford flops ahead of Nottingham Forest clash
Manchester United star Casemiro is expected to feature in tonight's Carabao Cup clash with Nottingham Forest.
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With four goals to his name, Casemiro has already shown up flops such as Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria at Manchester United. The Brazil international arrived with big expectations back in the summer. And he’s exceeded them, with the 30-year-old in fine form ahead of tonight’s Carabao Cup clash against Nottingham Forest.
Manchester United didn’t originally intend to land Casemiro. Instead, their priority was always Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
But the Red Devils, after finally admitting defeat in their attempts to land the Netherlands international, then performed a U-turn.
United did probe a deal for Adrien Rabiot, only for the player’s mothers’ demands to scupper their chances of bringing him in.
So Casemiro arrived instead. And, ever since, the 30-year-old has established himself as an instant Old Trafford hero.
On Saturday night, the Brazilian struck twice as United battled their way to a 3-1 FA Cup win over Reading.
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Man Utd star Casemiro is shining ahead of Nottingham Forest Carabao Cup clash
And it means he’s already matched the goal tallies of two of the biggest flops the club have signed since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
United had high hopes for Di Maria when they landed him from Real Madrid in 2014, paying around £57million to land the Argentina international.
Things started well enough, with the forward scoring a memorable chip against Leicester.
But United then saw Di Maria regress alarmingly, with a break-in at his family home also impacting his form.
By the end of the season, Di Maria had just four goals to his name and had fallen behind Ashley Young in the club’s pecking order.
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And he would end up being sold to Paris Saint-Germain in 2015, with Louis van Gaal deeming the player surplus to requirements.
The same summer Di Maria arrived, United also brought in Falcao.
It was a bolt from the blue, with nobody expecting the Colombia international to join United.
On the last day of the transfer window, however, Van Gaal agreed to loan in Falcao - with Danny Welbeck then flogged to Arsenal to make room.
But, like Di Maria, he would end up being another substantial disappointment.
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Falcao would score four goals throughout his year in Manchester before returning to Monaco with his stock sinking.
The current Rayo Vallecano hitman would also later endure a similarly disastrous loan stint at Chelsea.
And should Casemiro net against Nottingham Forest tonight, he’d have actually bettered the goal tallies of both Di Maria and Falcao - despite being a defensive-midfielder.
Speaking after his heroics against Reading, meanwhile, Casemiro expressed his delight with life at Old Trafford.
“I'm very comfortable, extremely happy to be here and enjoying every moment like a 15-year-old kid!” said Casemiro.
“But the most important thing is to see the team growing.
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"When you arrive at a new club, you always dream of making history, especially if we see the greatness of this club. We know the history.
“But I was aware of needing some time to adapt and of the rivals having a long-term plan before ours, like Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool. They all have managers that have been there for a while and, therefore, they have an advantage.
"We have to see what the reality is and we're still a club under construction. Of course, we're already respected, the opponents know we're strong, that we have good dynamics, the manager is doing a good job, the players as well.
“United is a big club. If we look at the titles, it's the biggest in England. In our lives we have to have goals and challenges. It was a challenge for me to keep growing and developing in my career.
“We're on a good path. This is the way to win titles, but we need to keep growing.
“We're progressing within a plan and building a well-structured team. To win titles in the future, you have to build a solid foundation."