Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Fred has emerged as a ‘very valuable’ player in the Manchester United squad.
The £52million Brazilian confessed he endured a poor first season with United but Fred excelled last term, starting 39 games, and he was brought back into the XI for the Europa League quarter and semi-finals in Cologne.
Fred and Scott McTominay lined up 19 times last season and United won 15 and only lost three. The duo have lined up together in the last three games to aid United’s recovery from the 6-1 trouncing by Tottenham and they have only conceded own goals by Luke Shaw at Newcastle and Anthony Martial in Paris.
“He’s a very valuable player of the squad,” Solskjaer said. “A great boy to have in and around the team, and very positive and his performances on the pitch have been very positive when he’s been on.
“He’s getting better and better and more used to the Premier League but his fitness and sharpness is very important for us in midfield alongside Scott. They’ve had some fantastic games.”
McTominay started the season against Crystal Palace but sat out the next two league games before he was reunited with Fred for the 4-1 win at Newcastle. McTominay’s attendance for the pre-match press conference against RB Leipzig would suggest he is set to start his fourth consecutive game for the first time since last November.
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United are unbeaten since the international break after wins over Newcastle and PSG, and a draw against Chelsea. Next up is a home game against RB Leipzig, with Edinson Cavani in contention to make his European debut for the club.
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“Whenever I feel like we do play with different rotations in midfield I feel like we are all more than capable of playing with each other,” the 23-year-old opined. “I feel like there’s not just the case of X has to play with whoever and stuff like that. I feel like the manager and the coaches have belief in all of us and the way we perform in matches.
“He’s dead right in the way that players sometimes need a break and some might be playing a little better than others and vice versa, so I feel like we are all happy to play alongside each other, there’s not a designated two or three or four who can play together.
“I feel like we are all very adaptable in the way we play.”