After ending a six-year trophy drought by claiming the Carabao Cup, Manchester United’s attentions have now shifted to the FA Cup where they will take on West Ham United at home.
The Red Devils are the only Premier League side in with a chance of claiming four prizes this season and the players as well as Erik ten Hag have already indicated their hunger and desire to now go for more.
This is a sea of change compared to last season when fans were fed up of the player power rampant in the squad and then interim manager Ralf Rangnick had indicated the squad was not good enough.
ETH has transformed Fred
The Dutch boss deserves plaudits for transforming the team’s fortunes in such a short span of time including getting previously maligned players to play a starring role.
One of the biggest examples of that change is Fred. The Brazilian has always been a polarising figure since his arrival at United.
He had reached his nadir last season with many fans fed up of the club’s continued use of Scott McTominay and the Brazil international as United’s go-to midfield pairing.
They were dubbed a disaster by many pundits and many were calling for the former Shakhtar Donetsk man to be sold. But Ten Hag had other plans.
The Dutchman has figured out Fred’s strengths and weaknesses and has devised the best way to use the 29-year-old.
He still remains inconsistent as seen in the first-half of the Barcelona game, but when he gets it right, it can be devastating as viewed in that very game’s second-half.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS! That’s the spirit of United. Thanks God! 🏆🥇 pic.twitter.com/02SKChW9jS
— Fred Rodrigues (@Fred08oficial) February 26, 2023
From game-changing cameos off the bench to playing in the biggest of games where the opposition will tend to have more of the ball, the midfielder has proven his worth to the cause.
His relentless pressing and running and ability to come up with important goals and assists is something that is respected inside the United dressing room and Ten Hag is certainly benefiting from it.
Fred still has a future at the club
As per FBref, Fred ranks among the top 1% of midfielders across Europe’s big five leagues as well as in both the Champions League and Europa League for blocks (2.41) and he is also among the top 8% for tackles made per 90 minutes (3.06) in the last year.
Despite reports linking him with an exit next summer, Givemesport have indicated that the star from Belo Horizonte still has a future at United.
“He’s definitely still got a big future at Man United. One of the reasons I’ve backed Fred is because I’ve heard so many times from people close to the situation about just how highly he is thought of within the club.
“There are inconsistencies in his performances, I accept that. But this is what he does. One minute, it looks like there can’t be any future for him long term and then the next minute, he looks almost irreplaceable in the squad,” transfer insider Dean Jones suggested to the outlet.
United have been linked with a plethora of midfielders ahead of next summer but Fred is someone who has earned a new lease of life and is not expected to depart anytime soon.
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