Fred is the third most expensive player Jose Mourinho has ever bought but he hasn’t won the trust of Mou to appear regularly. How could this happen?
He will appear at Old Trafford every week. His duties include making United’s fans at the stadium always smile. Yep, he is Fred the Red, the official mascot of Manchester United. In the squad, there are also players named Fred. He has a 167-centimeter posture, which makes him look like a lilliput in United’s midfield.
The situation when the derby facing Manchester City could describe the current state of Fred. At that time, Paul Pogba was injured and two other places in the midfield were filled by Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera. Although Fred was fit, Jose Mourinho chose a super substitute for a starter instead, who could not even play the full 90 minutes, Marouane Fellaini.
As Mou said after the match, Fellaini could have been a deadly trump card had it only been installed in the final minutes of the match with Fred appearing as a starter. Unfortunately, Fred’s backup made him hold an unofficial title as United’s fifth choice in the middle of the season. The conclusion is clear: Mourinho did not put his trust in the third most expensive player he bought.
If you look at United’s competitors, each of them has found a new life with new players. Jorginho helped Sarri’s revolution at Chelsea. Alisson played a role in improving Liverpool’s defensive qualities. Lucas Torreira has also become a rock in front of the Arsenal defense. Riyad Mahrez also has amazing goals and assists statistics in the league.
In Manchester United, there is an attack-midfielder named Fred. This 25-year-old man consistently appeared disappointing. He could not match the level of other midfielders from week to week. One of them was because Fred’s role in the team had not been found. At Shakhtar Donetsk, Fred’s best position according to his coach was “attacking midfielder in the formation of two midfielders”.
In terms of playing style and posture, Fred also did not look suitable in Mourinho’s tactics. The rival club, Manchester City, through Pep Guardiola, were actually targeting Fred to be a long-term replacement for Fernandinho. Pep believed Fred was able to perform well with a somewhat backward role and involved him in the construction of the attack from the very beginning.
At Manchester United, according to Mourinho’s playing style, the most important thing a player must have is physical strength, not technique (like Guardiola). Again, Fred might face misfortune with his posture.
Considering that Mourinho has ever said that he was once unable to buy a player he wanted, it could be that Fred came to United, not over Mourinho’s desire. Despite being labeled “a unique player who will be the best player in his position” by his coach at Shakhtar, Fred is far behind Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini in the midfield selection.
With a price of more than 60 million Euros, Fred can already be called a failed purchase. He will only become the fifth reserve, even sixth if Scott McTominay is able to be outstanding again…