Fred’s arrival at Manchester United caught most people by surprise when he joined from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer.
Coming from the relatively obscure Ukrainian Premier League, the Brazilian wasn’t exactly a household name throughout England.
But with three league titles under his belt in addition to an initial price tag of £52 million, the Red Devils faithful quickly took a liking to him.
Fred - a versatile player capable of contributing in attack and defence - was signed, in Jose Mourinho’s words, to “complement our other midfielders' qualities”.
Despite fitting the bill in that regard, he hasn’t yet hit his stride at Old Trafford.
Fred has predominantly operated alongside Nemanja Matic and or Paul Pogba, depending on whether Mourinho employs a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation.
There appears to be a tailor-made position for the former Internacional star in both set-ups, though it hasn’t translated to minutes on the pitch.
Fred has made just seven Premier League appearances and two in the Champions League this season, casting doubt over his place in Brazil’s 2019 Copa America squad.
Reflecting on his struggles so far in Manchester, the 25-year-old at least partially blames Mourinho for being in this situation.
“I’ve played very little at United, so it’s normal for Professor Tite not to be able to evaluate me, even though I’ve worked hard with him before,” Fred told reporters, per Goal.
“Of course, I was annoyed, but I have to know how to deal with the sadness to be able to help me take a step forward.
“The coach has chosen not to put me in the team. That’s his choice. I still do my job and I can’t let it affect my mindset, I cannot let that shake me. I have to be patient.”
However, Fred admits he’s not found the transition to life in England particularly easy.
"It’s been a bit of a difficult start for me at United because I have not been playing so much. I had a lot of games in Shakhtar, but it’s a little bit different here. It’s normal, of course, a process of adaptation to a different league,” he said.
“Although I’ve been to Europe before, now I am in a different country and I have to go through a new process of settling in. But today I see myself much better and I hope that my football will be 100 per cent soon.
“I think I had a great performance against Young Boys in the Champions League. We had the opportunity to score a few times before we scored the goal at the end, but I was very happy to have returned to the field and I hope to continue playing more.”
Mourinho has been widely criticised for failing to settle on a preferred starting line-up, but he must have his reasons for constantly experimenting.
If he thinks Fred isn’t ready to be a regular starting player just yet, it’s up to him to prove his manager wrong.News Now - Sport News