It’s been a relatively slow start to life at Old Trafford for Manchester United’s summer recruit, Fred. The jury is still out on the Brazilian midfielder following his £53 million switch from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk. Questions have been raised about his best position with Jose Mourinho opting to start him on just six occasions this season. Adapting to life in the English top flight is far from straightforward and the transition can often take a number of months. He deserves more time to settle into his new surroundings and an upturn in form is surely just around the corner.
Fred has been backed by his ex-manager Paulo Fonseca who believes that his former midfielder can be a success in the North West of England. He called the 25-year old a “big talent” and claimed that he is “still developing”. He put in a number of eye-catching performances in Donetsk and was attracting interest from all around Europe but it was Manchester United who won managed to secure his transfer.
Fonseca told reporters that he believes Fred’s best position is further forward and he is likely to thrive as part of a midfield two yet he seems unlikely to depose French international Paul Pogba from the starting eleven. He is an exceptionally gifted passer and was often seen playing pin-point through-balls for his team-mates at Shakhtar but Manchester United fans have seen very little from him going forward so far. He is off the mark for the season, however, netting an 18th-minute opener against Wolves on September 22nd but his side were pegged back in the second half.
Despite featuring regularly in the competition for his former employers, he has made just one appearance in the Champions League so far and that came in United’s 3-0 success over Swiss side Young Boys. After three matches, that remains the Red Devil’s only success in the tournament although they are still in a decent position to qualify for the knock-out rounds. They can be backed at 50/1 for Champions League success in the latest football betting markets with their local rivals, Manchester City leading the way at 7/2.
Source: FA Spokesperson via Twitter
He has shown flashes of class so far but on a number of occasions, the game has appeared to pass him by. It’s arguably one of the toughest positions for a new signing to play with Tiemoue Bakayoko and Renato Sanches recent examples of central midfielders who have struggled to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League.
Fred hasn’t been helped by the pressure facing Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese boss has been feeling the heat as he faces increasing criticism from Manchester United supporters. The club sit seventh in the Premier League and have lost three of their opening seven matches which has prompted speculation about his future at Old Trafford.
Although he drew criticism for his performance against Bournemouth on November 3rd, it is unfair to judge Fred after just twelve appearances in all competitions. He needs time to get up to speed with the electric pace of the Premier League and it surely won’t be long until he begins to show his quality in the Manchester United midfield.