Former Manchester United winger Lee Sharpe has backed Fred to replace the suspended Casemiro against league leaders Arsenal at The Emirates.
The former Real Madrid man is unavailable for the crunch clash against Mikel Arteta’s Gunners having picked up his fifth yellow card in the Premier League in the 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.
The absence of the five-time Champions League winner is a hammer blow for Erik ten Hag’s side.
The 30-year-old has become the fulcrum of Ten Hag’s team and his calming presence and big match pedigree would have been priceless in north London.
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Lee Sharpe backs Fred to replace Casemiro against Arsenal
But instead of rueing Casemiro’s unavailability, Ten Hag has the predicament of picking the 30-year-old’s replacement.
Sharpe has backed Casemiro’s compatriot Fred to come into the side and produce one of his better performances to thwart the Gunners.
Speaking via talkSPORT, Sharpe said: “I think it probably will be Fred that will come in, a slightly different player. Fred’s high energy and on his day can be a bit of a nightmare to play against.
“You just hope Fred has one of his better games. I think Fred’s only problem is when he’s tried to get on the ball with his back to goal off the back four.
“But I think defensively and energy wise he can get around the pitch, he can annoy people, he can stop people from playing.”
United’s number 17 did a great job in nullifying Kevin De Bruyne during United’s 2-1 win against Manchester City at Old Trafford last weekend.
The 29-year-old, who made his first Premier League start since October versus City, could well be given a similar man-marking role against Arsenal when paying close attention to Arsenal captain and playmaker Martin Odegaard.