Casemiro‘s progression at Real Madrid has been extraordinary. Since returning from his loan at Porto in 2015 his importance has grown year after year.
He was an undisputed starter in Zinedine Zidane‘s first spell on the bench, but now he’s possibly the only player in the team who is utterly irreplaceable.
Zidane doesn’t have another Casemiro in his squad and the Brazilian’s absences will cause problems this season.
Fear of injury
The coach doesn’t want to even imagine a scenario that sees him sidelined for a prolonged period of time. Real Madrid would be left without a central pillar in their midfield and there aren’t many solutions in Zidane‘s system.
Casemiro isn’t just fundamental because of his ability, but he offers so much to the setup.
Paul Pogba would have presented an alternative option, which is one of the reasons Zidane wanted the world champion to join this past summer.
Pogba could have fulfilled any of the midfield roles excellently, be it in place of Casemiro, Luka Modric or Toni Kroos.
Key to Neymar
He’s one of the most valuable players at the club and had Madrid pushed for Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain might well have asked for his compatriot as part of the deal.
PSG have been watching Casemiro for years now, but Zidane has never considered letting him leave.
Rotation will come this season, but the anchor in midfield has nobody to allow him to rest.
The first game back after the international break could see Real Madrid have to play without him though, with Brazil’s last game coming in the early hours of Wednesday in Los Angeles, meaning he won’t return to the capital until Thursday.
That, as well as PSG coming just around the corner in the Champions League, could lead to him being afforded some rest.