Only two years since making a shaky Premier League debut, Fred has transformed himself to a key figure in Manchester United’s midfield.
Before the impressive performances against Everton and RB Leipzig, and the 29 Premier League appearances last season (more than any other midfielder at United) Fred had to deal with his fair share of critics.
There were many doubts when a Jose Mourinho-led Manchester United signed Fred for £52million from Shakhtar Donetsk back in 2018.
A number of media outlets scoffed at the signing fee and whether Fred himself was needed in the squad. Others felt he would bring the best out of Paul Pogba; ultimately Fred arrived at Old Trafford as a shadow to ace signing Pogba.
Mourinho commented then that “Fred will complement our other midfielders’ qualities, which we need; his creative brain and passing vision will give us another dimension to our game.
“I am very happy he is joining our club and I believe our players know how important he can be in our team.”
While Jose Mourinho may be long gone, his verdict on Fred did come to pass as the Brazilian has been a key figure at the heart of Manchester United’s midfield.
His effective partnership with Mctominay has further solidified his position in the team, while an absence in the starting lineup in the games against Crystal Palace, Tottenham and Brighton was telling as the team struggled.
His ability to provide shelter for the defence and balance to the attack has seen him receive plaudits from the media in recent weeks.
Fred, the once frail midfielder is now considered more important than £89million Paul Pogba, the player he was supposed to complement.
He has been spotted working on his passing and finishing after training hours- two areas he himself said he needs to work on.
After two seasons, it is clear that the Brazilian has adjusted to the league. He has seemed a better player than he was and has surely lived up to the £52million signing fee, another plus which many United signings of late cannot claim for themselves.
Certainly, Ole will continue to rely on him for the rest of the season.