Speaking to the club’s official website, Manchester United’s first-team coach, Michael Carrick, has hailed Fred’s improvements in performances this season.
The Brazil international endured a difficult debut campaign at the club following his arrival from Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk. He made just 25 appearances across all competitions in total, and didn’t really establish himself as a key part of the first-team.
However, things have changed considerably this year, and he has become a cornerstone of United’s midfield. The 26-year-old has started and completed the full 90 minutes in the Red Devils’ last 18 Premier League matches, and Carrick has showered him with praise.
He said: “I think he’s done great. It’s not always easy, I think history tells you that. I think it’s just what playing for this club brings and playing in the league. The Premier League is so different to other leagues so, sometimes, it takes time to get used to it, but credit to Fred.
“He’s stuck at it, he’s learnt and he’s been willing to put the work in and try to improve. He’s been fantastic for quite some time now and I’m sure there’s more to come, because he’s that kind of boy. He wants to keep improving, he wants to keep learning and getting better and there’s plenty more to improve, like any player, so we’ll keep working at it.”
As Carrick alludes to, Fred appears to have finally adapted to the rigours of the Premier League.
The Brazilian has already made more appearances this season than he did for the entirety of the last campaign, with 31 to his name. And as per Whoscored, his influence on the pitch has been there for all to see. His two tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game puts him fourth and third on the rankings list for United, whilst his average of 1.4 key passes per match also places him in the top three – a real all-action kind of player.
Ultimately, it should be a lesson to all football fans that they shouldn’t be quick to judge a player based on their first season at a club. As Fred has shown, sometimes it takes a bit of time to show their natural colours.