Is Fred capable of stepping up for Manchester United?
There have been no answers in pre-season over the curious case of Fred.
The £47 million signing had an indifferent first season at Manchester United, and there does not appear to have been a sudden transformation.
Fred did not help his cause by missing United’s first three games in Australia as he was getting married.
He has since featured in games against Tottenham, Kristiansund and AC Milan, and he has done little to state his case.
At times it has seemed he is trying too hard, is still giving the ball away unnecessarily, and does not look at ease.
It would be a surprise if Fred is selected to start this weekend against Chelsea in the Premier League opener.
Fred showed away against PSG how good he can be. He also showed flashes early under Jose Mourinho, but couldn’t win him over.
He has failed to really impress Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enough either to earn a regular place in the team.
United’s failure to sign a midfielder this summer works in Fred’s favour.
It’s a big gamble from the club, and it falls flat if Fred cannot produce the goods.
Pre-season shows it won’t be an instant fix, so we have to hope that through the campaign ahead, Fred can get it together.
If he can’t, James Garner might quickly end up overtaking him in midfield.
Game time in the Europa League could be invaluable for Fred, to find some form, build his confidence, and start making a case for regular Premier League game time.
For the money spent on him, and the money not spent on midfielders this summer, a lot of responsibility is falling at the Brazilian’s feet.
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