Manchester United’s first half dominance against Southampton led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking Luke Shaw off after 45 minutes. He had played his part, providing two assists in his time on the pitch.

This led to a reshuffle, because United brought on midfielder Donny van de Beek and not left-back Alex Telles.

It meant midfielder Fred dropped in to fill in at left-back for the second half. With Southampton reduced to 10 men and 4-0 down, there was little risk.

Manchester United v Southampton - Premier League
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

And yet early in the second half the Saints scored, with Che Adams scoring from the position Luke Shaw would have normally swept up in. Fortunately it was ruled offside, a little harshly, and United’s mauling of Southampton resumed.

Fred picked up confidence and played pretty well. His role at left-back saw teammate Bruno Fernandes compare him to Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos.

Fred responded by joking he preferred ‘a mix of Roberto Carlos and Marcelo’.

Fred ended the match with 100 touches, more than any player on the pitch.

He managed to create two chances and while United clearly missed Shaw, the team still netted five second half goals and ended as 9-0 winners. Fred can’t have been too bad.

 

This is just another string to Fred’s bow, and if there is a situation where there is an injury crisis, it is useful to see his adaptability tested out.

Not the only Roberto Carlos comparisons

Fernandes was not the only person to compare a United player to Roberto Carlos last night. This was an honour bestowed on Luke Shaw by a number of United supporters online.

Shaw is in the form of his life as he adds extra attacking quality to his already well-rounded game.

Shaw is setting a new standard and is now up to four assists for the season. If not for some big missed chances by his teammates at time, this tally could be a lot higher.

The competition from Alex Telles has certainly brought out the best in him. Shaw is even looking like a threat from set pieces.

If Fred has serious aspirations about developing his game as a full-back one day, he needs to watch and learn from Shaw.

Have something to tell us about this article?