Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has promised Brazilian midfielder Fred that he will get plenty of opportunities to impress in the first team between now and the end of the season, according to Metro.
They report that Solskjaer felt the need to outline to the summer arrival that he is a part of his plans despite Fred only starting twice under him and missing the mid-season break to Dubai.
Solskjaer was apparently aware of Fred’s qualities before he joined United and remains confident that he can contribute in the closing months of the season.
But with United playing so well at present, that raises the question – where does Fred fit in? It’s safe to say that talisman Paul Pogba is an automatic pick when fit, and Fred does not have the same creativity as the Frenchman anyway.
So the assurance puts the starting places of Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic at risk; Fred has the energy to do Pogba’s dirty work tirelessly.
In that sense, he is the closest match to Herrera; and the Spaniard gets through so much work every game at a tempo that is tough to keep up three games per week, so the duo may well be rotated to maintain their energy levels.
But although Matic has improved under Solskjaer, he remains a little ponderous and there is room for improvement in his passing and pressing, especially in matches where United are expected to dominate the ball.
Dropping Matic and fielding Fred and Herrera behind Pogba would give United a midfield of exceptional energy, good passing quality and flexibility.
That represents the best way for Fred to get into the side as the season wears on – provided he takes the opportunity when it comes his way.