Casemiro proves his worth to Real Madrid by staying under the radar

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Like many holding midfielders, 23-year-old Casemiro has managed to stay relatively unnoticed so far this season for Real Madrid.

In Los Blancos' 3-1 win over Celta Vigo, the Brazilian played a large part in all that was good about Madrid. He won the ball back quickly, passed it simply and kept an organised shape; of course, he stole none of the headlines.

If you hadn't heard of Casemiro before this season, you are not alone. He seemed to be one of the many young Real players who would gradually get eased out to a smaller club.


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He was sent on loan last season to Porto, though his performances for the Portuguese side made sure he would return to the Bernebeu.

The youngster became one of Porto's key players - he was instrumental in their run to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and quickly became a regular. With Carlo Ancelotti's side struggling defensively at times last season, it was obvious why Casemiro was recalled for this year's title push.

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It's unsurprising that such faith has been shown in the young Brazilian given the defensive-minded approach of current manager Rafael Benitez.

When the Spaniard arrived at the Bernebeu, Toni Kroos was left in charge of keeping the midfield together, but as good as the German is on the ball, his lack of defensive qualities was never going to sit well with the former Liverpool boss.

How Benitez manages his group of talented midfielders will be paramount to the success his side achieves this season. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Kroos and Luka Modric will be vying to start, but they are all attack-minded players in need of someone to mop up behind them - Casemiro is that player.

Some of Madrid's midfielders will have to accept some time spent on the bench this season, though it's hard to see the Brazil international being one of them.

After seeing more talented midfielders than him leave the club, Casemiro will be aware his run in the team might not last forever. There are few fans less forgiving than the supporters at the Bernabeu, and if his performances begin to dip he will quickly be out of the team.

From what we've seen so far of the Brazilian, however, there are no signs his performances will begin to decline. If anything, he's shown potential of becoming Madrid's holding midfielder for years to come.

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