Mason Mount at Manchester United is ideal for Casemiro, as Christian Eriksen has demonstrated

Christian Eriksen must have begun to doubt his future after the first three matches of his Manchester United tenure.

On his debut against Brighton & Hove Albion on the first day of the 2022–23 season, the Danish international was used as a false nine. Six days later, as United lost 4-0 at Brentford, he was expected to play as the defensive midfielder. It should come as no surprise that the seasoned offensive midfielder was helpless to halt the Bees from destroying United.

Erik ten Hag, though, finally got it right after two failed attempts when he started Eriksen in centre midfield for the 2-1 victory over Liverpool. It was the former Tottenham Hotspur star’s greatest performance in a United jersey up to that moment, and it was a choice that helped the team move beyond losses to Brentford and Brighton.

Although Eriksen had a reputation as one of the top offensive midfielders in the league before he joined Old Trafford last summer, it was in the No. 8 position that he excelled, controlling games from deep. Their relationship would be crucial once Casemiro had acclimated to his new environment.

Eriksen’s standards did, however, begin to slip towards the conclusion of the 2022–23 season despite all of their success as a team, with exhaustion and fatigue becoming an evident issue. United needs younger legs in the engine room since the Dane is now beyond 30.

Of course, they have chosen Chelsea star Mason Mount as the answer to that issue and have reached a personal contract with him; however, they have not yet agreed on a transfer cost with the Londoners. Similar to Eriksen, who arrived at Old Trafford over a year ago, Mount is seen as an attacking-midfielder and is frequently thought to start every game at No. 10.

Although he is well-suited to playing there, he has said that Eriksen-like, he is equally deserving of playing the No. 8 position. In actuality, he views it as his finest performance.

In a statement made in November of last year, Mount said: “Even though I can fill a variety of roles for the club, I like to think of myself as a typical midfielder. Since I was a small child, I’ve played at No. 8, where I believe I perform at my best.

“I enjoy working from box to box, providing defensive support while also moving forward to score and help the team win goals. My skills, in my opinion, lie in that area. I’m adaptable, so I can play much deeper or higher up.”

In that he is seen as a creative midfielder but is not necessarily limited to playing high up the pitch, Mount checks similar boxes as Eriksen. He will have the legs to move across the field and provide the energy that Ten Hag so frequently needs from his midfielders. He can dominate games from deeper areas, much like Eriksen did this season.

When choosing a midfield three, Ten Hag like to use Casemiro as a defensive midfielder, Mount as an all-around player who can do a bit of everything, and Bruno Fernandes as an advanced midfielder. When Casemiro is paired with a typical box-to-box midfielder who isn’t afraid to control games from deep and then move with the ball, he performs at his best.

The majority of the defensive labour in the engine room falls to Casemiro, freeing up his midfield partner to move forward. Throughout his first year at Old Trafford, Eriksen frequently did that, albeit occasionally, when United lost control, he would drop back and assist the Brazilian.

Because of his vigour and defensive prowess, Mount could be even more effective at it than Eriksen was. When extensively examined, the England international’s defensive abilities are surprisingly strong for a player of his profile.

In 2022–2023, he outperformed the Dane in nearly every defensive stat, with more interceptions per 90, ball recoveries in the opponent’s half, and almost three additional defensive actions per 90. In actuality, those are amazing numbers for a guy who is so frequently linked with offence.

To guarantee that United remain reliable and effective in both ways, Casemiro needs an all-around player to play beside him. Mount could be just what the Brazilian and Ten Hag need.





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