It’s fair to say that Manchester United fans expected more from Brazilian midfielder Fred when he joined the club from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer of 2018.
One of Jose Mourinho’s final signings as United boss, Fred moved to Old Trafford in a deal worth £52 million.
It felt like a coup for the Red Devils at the time because Pep Guardiola, who knows a good central midfielder when he sees one, wanted to sign the South American for Manchester City.
Fred’s first season at United was a bitter disappointment but the 27-year-old showed signs of real improvement during his second campaign.
United fans have subsequently warmed to the Brazil international, who started in the 2-1 win away at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday night ahead of Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek.
Despite an impressive performance at the Parc des Princes, Watford striker Troy Deeney provided some brutal analysis of the midfielder on talkSPORT on Wednesday.
Deeney says Fred isn’t capable of playing one or two-touch football and constantly gives the ball away to opponents.
“Whenever you play against Fred - we certainly did it - you let him get it because he has to take three or four touches”, Deeney told talkSPORT. “He doesn't know how to do one or two touches.
“Anyone that watches his game, he gets it facing the wrong way, turns, turns, chops, chops and he'll give you the ball three or four times a game.”
Darren Bent - the former England striker-turned-pundit - joked: “Hope Fred's not listening. Blueprint how to play against him.”
Deeney added: “It's the truth. If you're anyone who studies football you'll know that, when teams are setting and they're waiting, you go and that one person is the trigger.
“You're waiting for it to go and then you bounce off him.”
Watch the video here...
Deeney is known for voicing his outspoken views but this analysis feels particularly brutal even by his standards.
Meanwhile, a video of Fred’s highlights from the PSG game has since emerged and it shows the qualities he brings to Man Utd’s midfield…
From this video alone, you can see why Solskjaer started Fred ahead of Pogba and Van de Beek.
He’s tenacious, energetic and willing to get stuck into tackles. He’s also prepared to run with the ball and can pick a pass.
Perhaps Fred just had an off-day the last time he played Watford.
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