Fred Developing Into Manchester United Midfield Star

Fred Manchester United
Manchester United's Brazilian midfielder Fred reacts after sending a shot over the bar during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Watford at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on February 23, 2020. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Fred’s improvement has given Manchester United fans enjoyment in a season of one with not too many positives.

Fred’s improvement has led to him been one of United’s best players this season. He has consistently put in great performances, especially against the top teams. However, his life in England started very shakily and many believed that Fred was a complete flop in the Premier League during the 2018/19 season.

Fred Developing Into Manchester United Midfield Star

The 2018/19 Season

The start of the season couldn’t really go worse for Fred. He put in a very poor performance against Brighton & Hove Albion where United lost 3-2. The midfielder made two mistakes which led to goals in the game. Fred lost the trust of manager José Mourinho and would only complete 90 minutes under him once more.

However, it was clear Fred had the vision for a pass. He looked for passes through the lines and to get on the ball, shown in the Brighton game as he had the most passes out of any player on the pitch. Yet it was clear Fred wasn’t used to the pace and physicality of the Premier League. 

Fred showcased his abilities in the latter stages of 2018/19, after playing time earlier in the season was an issue for him. A highlight game was the incredible win against PSG where Fred and Scott McTominay had strong performances in the midfield. 

Fred’s Improvement – Confidence

It is clear that Fred’s confidence was low during the beginning of last season, similar to Daniel James at the moment. But consistent game time was the key to Fred’s improvement, and this season has given him it.

Fred has started 20 Premier League games in a row for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now. After missing the start of the season due to missing most of the preseason.

One game which shows Fred’s improvement was the 4-1 win against Newcastle United, where he made 115 passes and created three chances, he also made 8 ball recoveries. As well as his many big-game performances against the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea

Ability was never really the problem for Fred. He showed his abilities in the Champions League with Shakhtar Donetsk. He just needed to find his feet in the PL which so many foreign players need to do.

The Next Level

Fred improvement has been great this season, but for him to be in contention to be a World Class midfielder, he needs to improve certain aspects of his game. 

Although many parts of his game have improved this year, one that certainly hasn’t has been his shooting. Fred has taken 27 shots in the league this season with only eight of them being on target. He has only scored one goal since he joined the Red Devils and if he can improve his shooting and get on the score sheet more often, and manages to get more assists, it’ll show even more that United have a very good midfielder on their hands.

What’s Next for Fred

Fred’s role in the team could slightly differ next season depending on the incoming signings. If a player such as Jack Grealish joins United, it will be likely mean that Fred will be a lone defensive midfielder in a 433. He would have to sacrifice his pressing and aggressive style of play in order to protect the back four. It will be interesting to see how this works. 

Alternatively, Manchester United could continue with a back three so that Fred has more protection. This will allow him to keep his tenacious style of play. No matter what formation though it is clear that Fred will have an important role in the side after his impressive campaign so far this season.

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