Jose Mourinho may have complained that he didn’t get his first-choice transfer targets in the summer - including a new central defender - but Manchester United’s hierarchy still freed up a cool £52 million for the purchase of Brazilian midfielder Fred.
The 25-year-old, who joined United on a five-year deal from Shakhtar Donetsk in June, was lauded by Mourinho following his arrival.
"Fred will complement our other midfielders' qualities, which we need; his creative brain and passing vision will give us another dimension to our game,” the United boss told reporters. "I am very happy he is joining our club and I believe our players know how important he can be in our team."
Four months on, however, and Fred has struggled to cement his place in United’s starting line-up.
He scored his first goal for the club against Wolves back in September but failed to start again until Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Everton.
United fans were baffled with Mourinho’s decision to continually overlook the Brazil international during that run of six matches.
And they were happy to see his name on the teamsheet for the game against Marco Silva’s side this weekend.
United fans made the same observation
United supporters kept a close eye on Fred during the game and many of them made the same observation about the South American.
They were all impressed by his energy and believe he injected some much-needed dynamism into United’s midfield.
Midfield dynamism was one thing United were sorely lacking in the recent games against West Ham, Valencia and Juventus.
Judging by Fred’s performance against the Toffees, his presence may have benefited the Red Devils in those matches.
But how did the media rate Fred’s overall performance?
Well, pretty average, to be fair.
The Manchester Evening News handed him a 6/10 but added: “A positive return in what was his first start in over a month. Tried to get on the front foot and make things happen.”
He was given the same rating by talkSPORT, who noted that Fred’s inclusion allowed Paul Pogba more freedom to get forward.
The Daily Mail, meanwhile, gave him a seven and also mentioned that he brought some energy to United’s midfield three.
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