When Manchester United signed Fred for £47million (BBC), it seemed they had finally completed their midfield. Alongside Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba, the Brazilian was tipped to excel at Old Trafford.
However, so far Fred has flattered to deceive.
Victor Lindelof has shown how patience can be key with new signings. And Fred’s performance against Reading was a step in the right direction.
While there is still a long way to go, the Brazilian’s moment of magic against the Royals suggests better things to come.
After all, the 25-year-old burst forward and finished a fine move (only to be ruled offside) with Juan Mata converting the subsequent penalty.
That is exactly what United expected from their new box-to-box midfielder. They need someone unafraid to get into the mix, adding even more threat to an already impressive attacking line.
Fred is also showing some muscle in defence and, while Reading were relatively easy pickings, it will have given him confidence.
What was most impressive about Fred’s moment of magic was the calmness with which he finished the move.
His goal may have been disallowed, but he did not know that when he ran forward and calmly slotted the ball into the net.
It may take a while, but Fred could become a regular and effective starter at United. And his FA Cup debut could be the catalyst.