An injury and early booking forced Scott McTominay off at half-time against Newcastle. Fortunately Fred had it covered.
The Brazilian produced an all round performance which highlighted how he has improved this season.
He touched the ball 136 times in the 4-1 win at Old Trafford, more than any player on the pitch.
For comparison, Newcastle’s busiest midfielder Sean Longstaff only touched the ball 48 times.
Energy and accuracy
Fred’s industrious performance made life easier for Paul Pogba when he came on at half-time, to play his longest stretch for United since September.
The duo controlled the game in midfield, and while we would like to see Pogba attacking with Fred and Scott McTominay in behind, the pairing was effective.
Fred’s use of possession was effective, making more passes in the final third than any player on the pitch.
He completed 93 per cent of his passes in total, and created three chances from open play – the highest of any United player.
His shooting is still a weakness, he didn’t come close to scoring from his two attempts on goal, but he is selfless and intelligent enough to pass the ball on to his teammates when there is an opportunity for him to do so.
Scott McTominay could face a spell out injured so it is important Fred keeps up a high level.
A ridiculous fixture schedule means Fred will have to do it all again on Saturday, and most likely without McTominay.
His performance against Newcastle was inspiring enough to suggest he is more than capable of a repeat.
Fred’s performances this season have won over supporters who rightly doubted him coming into this year. Here is a look at some of the praise on social media…
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- Paul Pogba reacts to Manchester United's 1-0 win over West Ham
- Photo: Anthony Martial pictured embracing Ralf Rangnick after Manchester United beat West Ham
- 'Absolutely incredible'… Some Manchester United fans react to star's display v West Ham
- 'This is Manchester United'…Defender with 4 tackles and 2 key passes celebrates vital win