Bryan Robson: Fred will add much-needed creativity and balance to Manchester United’s midfield

Manchester United legend Bryan Robson has suggested that the clubs new signing, Brazilian midfielder Fred, will add more creativity to Jose Mourinho’s squad during his debut season. Fred’s long-awaited transfer from Shakhtar Donetsk was confirmed on Thursday afternoon after the player completed a medical on Monday 4th June 2018, whilst in the United Kingdom for a pre-FIFA World Cup friendly against Croatia, also with the squad training in London at the time, ahead of the tournament in Russia, which started a week ago.

Robson, a United player from 1981 until 1994, making a total of 461 appearances for the club, scoring 99 goals, has stated that the Brazilian’s qualities will add more balance to the current squad, especially after the retirement of former captain Michael Carrick at the end of the season. Robson captained United himself, still the longest-serving captain the club has ever seen. Speaking to the official Manchester United website, the former United number seven said:

“I think everybody was saying that we just needed a bit more mobility and a little bit more creativity in that midfield area. Fred definitely gives you that. He’s been very good for Shakhtar, so hopefully, he can take to the Premier League and do really well for United.”

During the past season whilst at Shakhtar Donetsk, Fred made 37 appearances, playing every single minute of their UEFA Champions League campaign, which saw them play eight matches before exiting the competition, at the same stage as United. The 25-year-old has impressed against Manchester City during the group stages of the competition, with the Ukrainian side becoming the first team to beat Pep Guardiola’s side during the 2017/18 season, a season which few achieved the plaudits for.

Robson is no stranger to Brazilian players, something Mourinho had given a clue about towards the end of the season with United not having a single Brazilian in the squad with Andreas Pereira on loan at Valencia last season. Whilst managing Middlesbrough, Robson two high-profile Brazilian players in Juninho and Emerson. Speaking about the great determination of players from the South American country, Robson continued by saying:

“I didn’t have any difficulties with them [Juninho and Emerson]. Brazilians are tough characters, and mentally tough. The thing in Brazil is, if you don’t prove yourself in Europe, you’re not really a top-class player – that’s why they all like to come across to Europe and prove themselves.

“So I’m sure Fred, coming from Ukraine to the Premier League, will be tough enough and ambitious enough to want to do really well for United. I don’t think there will be any problems setting in as far as he’s concerned.”

Fred’s career at United will be something that many cannot wait to see. He is currently in the Brazil squad for the World Cup in Russia, with his country playing once already, a 1-1 draw against Switzerland on Sunday. Fred has yet to make an appearance in the World Cup after suffering a training injury in the days running up to the tournament. He is on the bench for his country in their second group stage match against Costa Rica on Friday afternoon.

Fred will become the seventh Brazilian to play for the Old Trafford club with Kleberson, Anderson, Rodrigo Possebon, Rafael and Fabio da Silva, and Andreas Pereira all ahead of him. Kleberson really did not make much of an impact at the club, neither did Possebon. Anderson had some moments in a United shirt during his time at the club and both Rafael and Fabio did some good things for the club during their time. Pereira has not really had much of a chance in the first team yet, but could find himself being more involved this coming season.

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