Gary Neville has named Casemiro as Manchester United’s most important player, also naming Raphael Varane as the club’s most important option in defence.
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Casemiro has played a hugely influential role in United’s improved campaign following his £70million move from Real Madrid last summer.
The Brazil international has had a transformative effect on Erik ten Hag’s midfield, scoring his side’s opener in the Carabao Cup final against Newcastle United on Sunday as the club ended their six-year wait for a trophy.
Rashford meanwhile has grown into one of Europe’s most lethal forwards with 25 goals this term after a wretched campaign under Ralf Rangnick last season where his future at Old Trafford became uncertain.
Neville named those two as United’s most important players this season, with Varane and David de Gea sharing third spot.
The former United captain reserved special praise for the Frenchman, believing he is ten Hag’s most trusted option at the back even ahead of Lisandro Martinez, who has enjoyed a superb first season in English football.
‘In order, I would go Casemiro, I would go Rashford, I’d go de Gea and Varane equal third at this moment in time,’ Neville told Sky Sports.
‘I can’t believe I’m even saying – forget Casemiro because he wasn’t even here last year – that Varane, Rashford, de Gea have elevated themselves into a position whereby you feel they are in great form.
‘We saw last night, de Gea had to make the saves, Rashford has to come on, Casemiro has to come on.
‘Varane didn’t come on but I do feel like he is the most important centre-back right now, particularly in big matches and that’s why he gets rested.’
Ten Hag called upon Casemiro and Rashford with his side trailing to West Ham in their FA Cup fifth round clash on Wednesday.
An own goal got the hosts back into the game with Alejandro Garnacho curling home a wonderful effort with Fred sealing the 3-1 win in injury time.
Varane was given the night off ahead of a huge clash away to Liverpool on Sunday.
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