Brazilian legend Dani Alves has come to the defence of his international teammate Fred, even calling the midfielder ‘world class’.
Fred’s form has been below par for Manchester United so far this campaign, as has been that of every player who has featured in the centre of midfield for the club.
A number of pundits have criticised his performances, United legends Roy Keane and Rio Ferdinand chief amongst them.
But Alves believes the blame should not be placed on Fred’s shoulders, saying:
“Every Brazilian becomes world class when wearing the national team jersey.”
“I hear so many people complaining about Fred. But when he plays for Brazil, he is better than all of their midfielders.”
“The problem is the club or coach, not Fred.”
It’s safe to say Alves knows a thing or two about elite football, having played with the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Ronaldinho during his illustrious career.
The 38-year-old is the most decorated player in the history of the game having racked up a whopping 43 honours throughout his career, and is still part of the Brazilian national team and on the lookout for a new club despite his age.
Fred plays alongside a dedicated defensive midfielder for Brazil rather than playing that role himself, and thrives in a slightly more advanced role.
His stunning assist for Neymar’s opener against Uruguay is evidence of his ability on the ball and perhaps his mismanagement at Old Trafford.
Often used in midfield with Scott McTominay as a two man defensive pivot, unlocking Fred is another reason why United need to invest in a world class defensive midfielder.