When Manchester United signed just 2 outfield players in the summer of 2018, fans feared the worst for their season. Rightfully so, as they aspired for silverware and with 52 million pounds shelled out on a midfielder that wasn’t a high-profile name, United fans were wary. That player, as Fred Rodrigues.
As they feared, their season did not go as planned, and neither did Fred’s. With United having a stop-start season and the team not performing as many would’ve hoped, fans turned against the management and how the club was run.
For Fred however, he wasn’t given as many opportunities as he would’ve liked; often remaining an unused sub. He would’ve hoped for more appearances and more goals at his new club.
Given that United were taking one step forward but two steps back and Mourinho becoming a ticking time-bomb, his reign at the club came to an end. This signaled hope for Fred, who himself was struggling for form and battling injuries, striving to make more of an impact.
That hope came in the form of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (OGS). With the Norwegian coming to the club and breathing new life into it, the fans seemed hopeful for a turnaround. His arrival saw improved performances and results, as United pushed for top 4.
Fred’s game by numbers vs. Barcelona:
87% pass accuracy
15 ball recoveries
3/3 long balls
3 shots (all blocked)
2 fouls suffered
2 tackles won
Lead Man Utd in: successful passes, final third passes & recoveries. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/8UiiQwOWfl
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 10, 2019
Fred under Ole:
With the Brazilian not featuring initially and recovering from injuries, Ole was quick to ensure the fans and the number 17 that he would definitely feature on his return, given that there was a huge chunk of fixtures left to play.
He was given his first big opportunity to shine in the game against PSG away, where he was influential in United’s comeback win and progression to the quarters of the CL.
He seems to be racking up quality performances and plaudits now, after exceptional stats in his most recent games, against Barca and West Ham.
Arguably on par with Utd’s MOTM McTominay against the Catalans, Fred produced a stellar performance that saw him recover the ball 15 times; and his overall stats: mind-blowing.
He reproduced a similar performance in the league this time around, against West Ham with the same number of recoveries, anchoring the midfield alongside Pogba. In less than a week’s time, Fred has completed 30 ball recoveries for United and delivered for them with the race for top 4 getting tighter and tighter.
With Fred coming to his own and featuring regularly for United, fans are excited to see more from the Bazilian.
Always looking for a forward pass and playing the ball ahead of the player to push the team forward, he’s gaining a lot of praise and becoming the “Fred, the Red” that United need.