Gary Neville believes Manchester United supporters need to exercise patience with new signing Fred.
The Brazilian, signed for £52.7m over the summer transfer window, was the only high-profile addition granted to Jose Mourinho by the club.
But he has been largely inconspicuous, making only three starts since the end of August, with Jose Mourinho still clearly not entirely sure about him.
Speaking on his podcast, Neville explained how Fred had not benefited from extremely turbulent situation at Old Trafford since arriving in July.
“Fred at £50million, he started the first game of the season and he looked bright, he looked tidy – but does he look like what you would expect for £50million?” he said.
“Does he change a game? Does it look like he’s going to defend your goal? Does it look like he’s going to connect back-to-front? At this moment in time, no. He’s still getting used to Manchester United and he’s coming into a very difficult position in the sense that the club aren’t the most stable at this moment in time in terms of their performance levels and the scrutiny that’s been on the club in the past three or four months.
“So, I wouldn’t put it all onto Fred but you have to ask the question, where was he [on Sunday] in that central midfield?”
It is worth remembering that, with Mourinho, trust is everything. Trust cannot be bought and takes a considerable period of time to build. And in the case of Fred, the manager clearly does not feel like he can rely on him just yet.
After all, it took Victor Lindelof until November last year to make his first Premier League start. Only in the last few weeks has Mourinho started to trust him as a regular. Something similar is happening with Fabinho at Liverpool.
The trust is not there at the moment, but there will come a time when Fred finds his groove in Manchester.