This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
As quoted by the club’s official website, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed Fred for his role in the victory over Brighton in the Premier League.
The Red Devils registered a fine 3-1 win over the Seagulls on Sunday afternoon, and they looked to be at their fluid, attacking best, racking up 21 shots on goal.
Whilst the forwards appeared to have a field day, one man who dominated proceedings in the middle of the park, was Fred. As per Sofascore, the Brazilian won six duels, two tackles and provided one key pass as he helped run the show at Old Trafford.
And, speaking after the game, Solskjaer heaped praise on the £47m man, and insisted he was central to stopping Brighton from getting into the contest.
He said: “You get confidence from playing games. He has not really had a run of games and I think he set us up with his midfield play. He won the ball. We had to get after them because, with (Davy) Propper and (Dale) Stephens in midfield, we couldn’t let them get on the ball and I thought Fred was maybe the catalyst.
“Maybe there were a couple of fouls he shouldn’t have made in the first half to give them chances because that was one of the big opportunities they had, from set-plays. But, otherwise, he was excellent.”
After flitting in and out of the team last season and ending up with just 25 appearances to his name in his debut campaign for the club, Fred has begun to turn his Old Trafford career around. The 26-year-old has now played and completed the full 90 minutes in the previous five Premier League games for United, and has established himself as permanent fixture in the first-team alongside Scott McTominay, in Paul Pogba’s absence.
When the Frenchman returns from his injury, it will be very interesting to see whether Fred will have done enough to keep his place. But on his current form – including his spirited performance in the defeat to Bournemouth last week – there are signs the midfielder is beginning to come good.