One of Jose Mourinho’s final signings, Fred was signed by Manchester United for a whopping 52 million pounds in 2019. He was brought into the squad during a phase where the team lacked Brazilian flair that many of the top teams in the league (Fernandinho & Jesus (City), Willian (Chelsea), Fabinho & Firmino (Liverpool)) benefitted from. Fred was brought into the side to be a box-to-box midfielder or someone who could be a part of a 3 man midfield alongside Scott, Matic and Pogba. He had a rough start to life in Manchester warming the bench for a major part of the first half of the season by Jose due to defensive woes in the squad and was eased back in only during the latter stages of Ole’s interim run. His performances mainly his contributions in terms of goals and assists on the field have been next to negligible thus far and have not remotely justified the price tag of his purchase.
As a player entering the prime of his playing career his statistics have been far from pleasing, during his time at the club he’s made 27 appearances with a total of 3 assists and a goal to show for his name. He averages more than a bad touch and dispossession during a game. During his phase of poor performances misplaced passes are a known occurrence. The only bright aspect of his statistics happens to be his passing which he averages at 87%. These figures serve as no assurance to the club of whether he can shoulder the responsibility going forward if Pogba ever chooses to leave.
He has in the recent times stepped up to the occasion in the absence of Pogba and produced commendable performances against Arsenal, Liverpool and Norwich. United currently have only 3 experienced holding midfielders in McTominay, Fred and Matic with the young James Garner still learning the trade. Scott having now cemented his place in the side and rightfully so seems better off paired with Fred than the ever-slow Matic.
Fred at best seems to be an appropriate squad player to have in the side who with his high tempo could really benefit the team in the final quarter of the game. Football is not played keeping statistics in mind and we hope that this is the case for Fred.
What do you think?