Fred was Manchester United’s unsung hero in their 5-0 win over RB Leipzig on Wednesday.
Marcus Rashford stole the headlines after his blistering cameo performance – and rightly so.
But nobody did as much running at Old Trafford on either team than Fred.
The Brazilian midfielder’s stats, per football analyst @StatmanDave, highlight his impressive showing against the German side as United made it two wins from two in the Champions League.
Fred is developing into a big-game player and that label was further justified on Wednesday evening.
It was a similar story last week, when the 27-year-old starred in United’s win against Paris Saint-Germain.
Rashford received all the praise on that evening, too. But Fred’s performance didn’t go unnoticed.
Fred’s individual highlights have emerged
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are yet to lose when Fred has started this season, having won five and drawn one of the six games he’s been named in the starting line-up.
And Fred is making telling contributions. Two of his ball recoveries against RB Leipzig led to goals, the first allowing Paul Pogba to assist Mason Greenwood for the opener and the second setting up Rashford.
His individual highlights from the match have now emerged and they show his growing importance to the side.
One of the biggest questions Solskjaer has faced early on in the season is how he can include Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek in his team.
But on this evidence, he can’t afford to leave Fred on the bench.
Man United referred to him as ‘Solskjaer’s very own marathon man’ in a post-match review on their website.
“The Brazilian once again was the solid foundation upon which a convincing team performance was built, during the 5-0 win over RB Leipzig on Wednesday,” they wrote.
Fred also received plenty of praise by former United players Owen Hargreaves and Rio Ferdinand in the BT Sport studio.
“I think he can do everything, I think he can tackle, I think he can pass,” Hargreaves said. “He works hard, I think he’s a good teammate.
“I think you can trust him and Ole has played him in the big games.”
Ferdinand admitted he’s changed his opinion on the former Shakhtar Donetsk man, who joined Man United in a £52 million deal in 2018.
“I think he’s very much improved,” Ferdinand said.
“I’ve got to be honest, I wasn’t a fan when he came [to United]. But maybe I was expecting too much of him because of the price tag, and his game isn’t what you’d say is a typical Brazilian’s type of game.
“If he sticks to what he’s good at – getting into people, being aggressive, getting around the pitch – and gives the ball to the creative players, then he’s alright.”
Fred struggled in his debut season at the club, but he’s now turning into one of Solskjaer’s most dependable players.
It’s been some turnaround.
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