When Manchester United announced the signing of Fred back in July, there was a buzz around the Brazilian midfielder.
Fast forward four months and United fans have only seen a small glimpse of what the former Shakhtar man is capable of, and he’s had to settle for a place either on the bench or out of the squad completly.
The first game of the season against Leicester seems a distant memory now given what has gone on since but the midfield Jose Mourinho named for that game was a youthful, exciting and quick-thinking trio.
But after Mourinho’s experiment backfired against Brighton that was it. United’s most attack-minded midfield haven’t been seen again.
And to some extent you can understand why. When they were pressed in that game on the south coast it just didn’t work. But, add a more defensive minded midfielder with two of that trio, such as Ander Herrera or Nemanja Matic, and it could be a totally different outcome.
United have been lacking creativity in midfield this season but Mourinho previously revealed that was the very reason why they signed Fred.
“Fred will complement our other midfielders’ qualities, which we need. His creative brain and passing vision will give us another dimension to our game,” Mourinho said at the time.
Mourinho’s said it himself, Fred will complement United’s midfield so he needs to give him a chance to do that.
Former United left back Denis Irwin explained what Mourinho’s tactic is with the Brazilian and it’s understandable why he’s doing that.
“The manager, like he did with [Victor] Lindelof, he is letting Fred settle and get used to the pace of the Premier League. He came across from Shakhtar and I can’t imagine the pace across there is anywhere near our league,” he told MUTV.
“I think you’ll see the best of Fred in the coming few months. He is aggressive, runs around and is energetic. I think we’ll see more of Fred, I really do.”
Lindelof’s spoken out about how it took him to time to adapt to the pace of the Premier League and he’s been much improved this campaign so Mourinho’s tactic could work with Fred, too.
However, when there’s a team in front of him that’s screaming out for a creative player to make chances for the team, it seems silly not to be giving him more of an opportunity, especially when other players in the starting XI aren’t impressing.
With over a week left of the international break, Mourinho could do with a timely reminder about why he made those comments about Fred in the first place.