Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects Fred to have a ‘big season’ at Manchester United following a quiet debut campaign at Old Trafford.
The Brazilian, who moved to Old Trafford for £52.4m from Shakhtar Donetsk last year, found himself ostracised by Jose Mourinho and only played sporadically under Solskjaer.
That said, his performances towards the end of last season, particularly against Paris Saint-Germain in March, served as encouragement of more things to come.
Speaking during Friday’s press conference, Solskjaer made a point of claiming that he expected big things from Fred this season.
Solskjær: "We believe Fred is going to have a big season as well." #mulive
— utdreport (@utdreport) August 16, 2019
United did not sign a midfielder over the summer, but if Fred reaches a higher level of performance, that alone will feel like an injection of something fresh.
While question marks remain over his physicality and propensity to lose the ball in key areas, Fred is a player who – unlike, say, Ander Herrera or Scott McTominay – can play those short precise passes up the pitch which break defensive lines and set up United for the counterattacks.
He is a nimble, technically gifted player, but one who will need to develop some nous if he is to make a genuine long-term impact under Solskjaer.