Manchester United star Fred has been quietly in the form of his life for Brazil in the Copa America, providing plenty of encouragement ahead of the new season.
The tireless midfielder often comes under criticism during his time at Old Trafford but he’s clearly more appreciated in his home nation.
Fred‘s numerous games for United in the past season saw him recalled into the Brazilian side and he hasn’t left since.
In fact, he’s featured regularly for his nation since arriving in South America and is a key player for them.
Some fans have pointed out that Fred‘s not being used to the best of his abilities at Old Trafford and it appears that theory has some truth in it.
Fred's resurgence continuing at international level: started and completed Brazil's quarter-final win over Peru. He's now started in all but one (when he was rested) of their five Copa America games and started both World Cup qualifiers last month. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) July 3, 2021
Fred at Copa América 2021 [Brazil rank]:
23 passes into the final third [????]
23 progressive passes [????]
10 attempted tackles [????]*
8 successful tackles [????]*
A key player in an impressive campaign. ???????? pic.twitter.com/Jz9lWF58Bz
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) July 3, 2021
His stats suggest he would be perfect in a box-to-box role and he sometimes shines at Manchester United on the rare occasion he’s given that role.
It could be argued most, if not all, of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s midfielders are specialists who would do better in a midfield three than a two.
It could also be argued none, other than Nemanja Matic, are natural holding midfielders and it’s why the engine room has looked timid of late.
Perhaps they’re not being used correctly due to Solskjaer’s preference to have a sturdy, tenacious midfield in order to protect an otherwise shaky defence.