Fred has not been the instant hit Manchester United would have hoped for.

Signed for £47million last summer (BBC), the Brazilian has struggled with the pace of the Premier League.  As a result, he has managed only 17 appearances in all competitions, flattering to deceive more often than not.

But could there be a turning point, with Fred impressing during an eight-minute cameo against Southampton?

Having played 90 minutes against Crystal Palace a few days earlier, the United midfielder came off the bench on Saturday. And it was his quick-thinking that led to their late winner.

 

Fred’s dallying on the ball has been obvious.  And he will not be the last big-money signing to struggle with the speed of English football. But against Southampton he played a deft, first-time pass converted by Romelu Lukaku.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

It was a pass Fred would not have made a few weeks ago.  But, like so many of his United teammates, he seems to be adapting under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

It may have taken him longer than most, yet his latest contribution was the mark of a £47m Brazilian.  It was so quick it could have also been missed by some fans.  But it should not be ignored.

If the United man can play the swift, attacking style demanded by his manager, he could have a major role to play in the months ahead.