Manchester United are still adamant to shift the burdens before the deadline day.
Whether it was unfortunate or just a sheer shortage of interest that United were unable to conduct the dealings they would have planned to do — we don’t know. But it was noticeable that Manchester United’s midfield was really missing the charm that an apparent top 4 side needs to have this time a year ago.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was about to embark on his first full season as a Man United manager, was counting on the likes of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, and Andreas Pereira for that extra edge in creativity from midfield. And when Paul Pogba picked up an ankle injury in September while playing against Arsenal at Old Trafford, Solskjaer and United board received immense criticism for not strengthening the department over the summer transfer window.
Pogba’s injury proved to be blessings in disguise for Fred, a reported £52m buy from Shakhtar Donetsk in June 2018, when Jose Mourinho was at the helm of Manchester United. Despite being rated very highly by the teammates, Fred was not getting that continuous run of starts prior to Pogba’s injury.
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A long-term injury to Pogba provided Fred with that much-needed game-time, and his courage and hunger to do better didn’t get unnoticed by both the manager and the fans in his glittering lion-esque eyes. He drastically put up some sublime performances, becoming one of the integral parts in Solskjaer’s first eleven.
Having amassed two goals and four assists from 48 games in all competitions while playing the role of an orchestrator rather than a creator, he became one of the best players for United and was touted to be a chief candidate to rack up the club’s best player’s trophy by the end of the 2019-20 campaign.
But soon came the coronavirus pandemic, and football games across the UK were brought to a standstill via lockdown for public safety. The halt that lasted almost three months helped Paul Pogba recover from his ill-fated injury, and Pogba’s re-emergence meant Fred had to get back to the substitute bench.
Pogba continued to get picked by Solskjaer, and Fred lost not only his place but his fame due to the massive reduction in his playing time. Considering every aspect, a new theory has emerged: if you need to see the best of Fred, you have to give him regular game-time.
His lack of involvement during the latter stage of the campaign has led fans to think that Fred might have played his last game for Manchester United. And quite a few reports, in recent times, have come under the spotlight where it has been claimed the midfielder is seeking to pursue his career elsewhere.
While speaking to FourFourTwo, the 27-year-old Brazilian has revealed his desire to extend his tenure at the club. Not only does he want to play a pivotal part but also he wants to win some trophies with the Mancunian club. He said:
“I want to stay here – that’s my desire. I don’t want to leave. As I’ve always said, I want to be an important player and win trophies for this club.
“[Van de Beek’s arrival] means we’re getting stronger and that’s good for everyone at United.
“We need more players for this season because it will be even more demanding: the calendar is crammed and we need a strong squad to compete for every title. When you play at a big club, there will always be competition – I’m used to it. It’s been like that from day one at United.”
For Manchester United, Premier League starts next weekend. And no winter break in the 2020-21 campaign means the fixture-list would be more congested than ever. And an injury or two or someone dealing with a drastic loss of form could hand Fred the preferred game-time.
Do you think Fred could shush his critics with his performances in this upcoming season?