Fred’s agent and former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva has insisted the Brazilian will take time to properly acclimatise at Manchester United.
The midfielder was the club’s only major signing of the summer, arriving in early July for a fee of £52.7m from Shakhtar Donetsk.
He demonstrated signs of promise in games against Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur but was left out of Man United’s 2-0 win over Burnley, with Jose Mourinho preferring instead the physical presence of Marouane Fellaini.
And Silva, who oversaw Fred’s move to Old Trafford, has urged fans to show patience with the 25-year-old as he adapts to life in the Premier League.
“Fred is a very versatile athlete. I’ve seen him,” he said. “He’s very versatile and he can be a first or second defensive midfielder.”
“He does other functions too – he’s done so in the past. He needs to be patient in adapting to England. The Premier League isn’t easy.
“He’s in a great team that is having a hard time but you need to stay focused. You have to be patient and learn the best of English culture to live there.
“There’s so much ahead – it’s just the beginning – and he needs to continue working because there are so many obstacles ahead.”
Fred certainly has more than enough on a technical level. He can beat the quick press, shift the ball precisely and carefully, float across the pitch intelligently. His range of pass is pretty good. His energy is superb, picking out the right spaces in the middle, always looking forward rather than sideways.
All of that is to be expected from a £50m plus player. What he will need to cultivate over the next few months, however, is a sense of mettle, cojones, that any successful Premier League player has. Coming from the Ukrainian league and a Brazilian background, that will indeed take some time.