The Brazilian, signed for £52.7m from Shakhtar Donetsk over the summer, has shown signs of promise but clearly requires more time to fully settle in.
But his performance against Wolves, during which he scored a superb goal from outside the box, was his best for Man United by some distance, and many questioned Mourinho’s decision to bring him off midway through the second half.
Speaking to MUTV after the game, Mourinho, otherwise disappointed in his team, had good words to say about his major signing of the transfer window.
There is certainly a player there in Fred. He is what you would describe as a natural technician: using whichever foot suits best for the pass at hand, finding teammates easily, picking up smart positions, supplying crosses and shots at will, just generally buzzing around.
And today, in a game played at a snail’s pace, he displayed mettle as well, fighting hard to get the ball and looking at home in a bruising Premier League draw.
He still has much to learn as a United and Premier League player, but this was an important step in the right direction.