It is around a year since Fred began to finally establish himself as an integral player for Manchester United.

But after Paul Pogba returned to from injury after lockdown, Fred struggled for game time and did not make a big impact when he did get chances.

This season Fred has started to hit form again and has started United’s last three games in a row.

Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester United: Group H - UEFA Champions League
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Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer picked the midfielder out for praise in his press conference ahead of the RB Leipzig match.


Solskjaer told the club website: “He’s a very valuable player in the squad. He’s a great boy to have in and around the team, very positive and his performances on the pitch have been positive when he’s been on.

“He’s getting better and better, more and more used to the Premier League. But, as you see, his fitness and sharpness is very important for us in midfield, alongside Scott – they’ve had some fantastic games.”

Solskjaer’s comments about Fred are both deserving and intriguing.

Fred is certainly benefitting from a run in the side, as he did last season.

It is when he comes in for one game, sits out for two, returns for another, and so on, that he struggles, due to a lack of sharpness and rhythm. This was the problem he faced at the end of last season.

Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League
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The difficulty with Fred is that to include him, United have to leave out another talented player. Recently Paul Pogba has sat out, along with Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek.

United have an embarrassment of riches in midfield and it is tough to work out the best combination week to week, while giving the side some consistency.

When United hit on a partnership which works, Solskjaer is not keen on breaking it up unless he has to.

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