Manchester United midfielder Fred has seemingly put an end to the speculation linking him with an exit from the Old Trafford club this summer. In the past month or so, the Brazilian has been linked with a loan move to Turkish side Galatasaray, which seems to have come to nothing. There seems to be a reason why nothing has happened with the player remaining happy at the club despite the arrival of Donny van de Beek this summer, which could cut into his playing time this coming season.
United signed the Brazilian from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk for £53.1 million in the summer of 2018 but the was fair to say that the midfielder struggled in his debut season at the club, which also saw the end of Jose Mourinho who was sacked after a defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replacing the Portuguese ‘Special One’. During the 2018/19 season, Fred made a total of 25 appearances, scoring one goal and one assist, which was not all that great and he seemed to not fit into the structure of the club.
However, during his first full season under Solskjaer, Fred seemed to pick up the pace, which was required after injuries to Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic (not all at the same time) with the Brazilian playing a more regular role in the squad and seeming to find his feet. Fred made a total of 48 appearances, scoring two goals and four assists during the 2019/20 season, which was put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, earning some praise from the manager and the supporters.
The 27-year-old will have seen the speculation linking him to Galatasaray earlier this summer and might use that as motivation to continue his career at the Old Trafford club under the reign on Solskjaer. With the likes of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and now Van de Beek at the club, Fred’s role might be off the bench or in rotation but it will give Solskjaer some strength in midfield which might prompt a formation change in some matches which might require that. Speaking to FourFourTwo, Fred stated:
“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 might mean that Fred spends more time on the bench this season but the player seems to be happy with the Dutch international arriving at the club, which has strengthened the team, as the Brazilian has stated. United will be playing in the Premier League, hoping to mount a title challenge, returning to the UEFA Champions League, which will be much tougher than the UEFA Europa League, also playing in the Carabao Cup and the Emirates FA Cup. Fred concluded by saying:
“[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.
“We can’t say it was a good one, because we didn’t win a trophy. For a club like Manchester United, it’s not a good season without a title. We managed to reach three semi-finals but lost them all. We were close to our goals, but they just didn’t come our way – I was really confident that we would win something, but it didn’t happen.
“At least we managed to play good football at times during the campaign, and qualifying for the Champions League was very important because this club must be in that competition. It was crucial to get our place back, but that alone isn’t enough: we want to fight for that title, too.
“The good thing is that we’re improving as a team and I think we’re heading in the right direction. Trophies will come our way soon.”
Written by John Walker