When Manchester United signed Fred for £47million (BBC) in 2018, it seemed they had got one over their city rivals. However, the Brazilian’s early performances did not justify such a considerable outlay.
In truth, Fred was being branded a United flop almost as soon as he pulled on the shirt. But, fast-forward to now, and that £47m looks like a bargain.
The 27-year-old was always going to take time to settle in the Premier League. Yet his shaky performances had some United fans fearing the worst.
Not anymore though, with the midfielder becoming an integral part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI. In fact, he was surely in contention for Player of the Year before the campaign was brought to an abrupt and unexpected halt.
Whenever football kicks off again, Fred will be one of the first names on United’s team sheet. He has the tenacity, guile and innate talent to be everything the club needs in that role and he has become seemingly undroppable. He is also thriving alongside the superstar that is Bruno Fernandes.
Fred’s £47million fee was not cheap but he is surely worth considerably more now. He has proved he can cut it in English football and is now a player to build around.
It may have taken a while, but that surprise outlay for a player once tipped to be wearing blue rather than red is proving to be a masterstroke.