Jose Mourinho gave an irascible retort to a question about Fred’s progress at Manchester United in Friday’s press conference.
The Brazilian was the club’s only major signing of the window, arriving in July from Shakhtar Donetsk for £52.7m.
He started Man United’s opening three matches this season, showing signs of promise against Leicester and in the first half against Tottenham Hotspur, but was left on the bench for the 2-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor.
When asked about how Fred was coming along at United, Mourinho vented that he hadn’t seen the midfielder for 15 days.
“Fred’s progress? I don’t know because I don’t see him for 15 days and the first time I’m going to see him is now,” he said. “15 days is gone so I don’t know about his progress.”
Mourinho may have launched a tirade of precise numbers discussing Marcus Rashford in Friday’s presser – stating at one point that the Englishman, under his tutelage, had “105 appearances, 5744 minutes, and 63.7 matches of 90 minutes” – but he has got this number of days wrong with Fred. 15 days ago was three days before the Burnley game, for which Fred was an unused substitute.
But you see where he is coming from. Every manager at this point of the season wants to spend time on the training ground with his players, especially new signings, and the international break is a massive annoyance in that sense. Supporters will have to be patient before seeing Fred at his best in a United shirt.