Gabriel Agbonlahor claims Casemiro looked 45 in midfield and insists Harry Maguire should return to the defence as he savages Man United’s dreadful display in Brighton defeat
- Erik ten Hag’s side slumped to a miserable 3-1 home defeat against Brighton
- Agbonlahor said Brazilian midfielder Casemiro, 31, looked significantly older
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast It’s All Kicking Off!
Gabriel Agbonlahor said Casemiro looked like a 45-year-old as Manchester United were ripped to shreds by Brighton.
The Brazilian midfielder was one of several sub-par United performers as they slumped to a miserable 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford.
It is the third defeat suffered by Erik ten Hag’s side in their opening five Premier League matches this season as the club battles strife both on and off the field.
Former England striker Agbonlahor, speaking on talkSPORT, didn’t pull any punches in his assessment after goals by Danny Welbeck, Pascal Gross and Joao Pedro earned Brighton a fourth consecutive league win over United.
He also questioned why Harry Maguire isn’t starting games after Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof endured a nightmare afternoon in defence.
Casemiro endured a miserable afternoon as Manchester United slumped to a Brighton loss
The Brazilian struggled to keep pace but one of several sub-par performers at Old Trafford
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‘It was a stroll in the park for Brighton. I am watching the game, at no time did Brighton ever feel like they couldn’t pass it out from the back,’ said Agbonlahor.
‘No matter who was pressing, they found it so easy to get through and create chances. This was like a training ground game, especially in the second-half.
‘Casemiro! Casemiro looked like he was 45 running around that midfield. He [Ten Hag] had to bring him off on the 65th minute for Hannibal, a young lad, because he was that bad.’
Casemiro, 31, enjoyed an excellent first season at Old Trafford after joining United from Real Madrid for £60million in August 2022.
But he has struggled at the base of their midfield in the opening matches of this campaign.
Ten Hag started with Martinez and Lindelof at the heart of his defence, with former captain Maguire an unused substitute after another testing week.
Maguire was jeered by Scotland fans and scored an own goal during England’s 3-1 friendly win at Hampden Park, which led to an impassioned defence of him by Gareth Southgate.
Harry Maguire once again watched on from the bench as United’s defence crumbled
Lisandro Martinez (left) and Victor Lindelof (right) endured a torrid afternoon in defence
Agbonlahor said: ‘You know what else wound me up today? Let’s see the same energy for Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof.
‘Martinez for the Gross goal, he has tried to make a block, he’s got fake-shot by Gross and he’s scored in the back of the net.
‘If that was Harry Maguire, you would not hear the end of it, “he’s terrible, get him out the side.”
‘Harry Maguire must be looking around that changing room now thinking, “how am I not getting a chance in this team?”
‘Martinez could not even play out from the back, giving the ball away, Lindelof as well. Maguire deserves to be in that team.
‘So let’s see the same energy, all you tweeters, whoever you are, let’s see that same energy for Martinez at the back, for Casemiro, who can’t get around the pitch, not just pick on Maguire.’
United return to action with a daunting Champions League trip to Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.