Rio Ferdinand thinks Fred could become a “mainstay” of the Man Utd team under new interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
Fred – who scored the only goal of the game against Crystal Palace on Sunday – has been a regular for the Red Devils since his 2018 move from Shakhtar Donetsk, which saw the Premier League side pay £47m for his services.
The Brazilian’s performances have been criticised on many occasions during his time at Old Trafford with many pundits, fans and former players believing their biggest weakness is in the middle of the park.
But former Man Utd defender Ferdinand reckons the “intensity” of Fred’s play will be appealing to Rangnick and reckons he will be in the starting XI most weeks.
“When a new manager comes in there’s always a player or two who jumps out from the pack and you go, ‘I didn’t expect that from him, I didn’t expect him to be that player’,” Ferdinand told Vibe with Five.
“Galvanised, a new lease of life, you see something different in them. Fred could be that guy under this manager.
“Because the way he plays in terms of intensity, he gives you everything, he’s sharp, he gets about people.
“If he’s doing that with somebody giving him that tactical nous now, from a structure, Fred could become a mainstay in this team, trust me.
“I think with Fred he’s been hammered by everyone, what he has got is a mentality you’d love to put in any young kid. He doesn’t hear the noise, he just gets on with what he’s doing, he goes out there and plays.
“The biggest problem I used to find with Fred is that he’d just jump out of the team shape, he’d see a ball and just go and not think about what’s behind him.
“Now in that position in front of the back three or back four, you need to have that awareness of, ‘if I go I’m leaving a big space’, he never had that.
“Whereas now, because the team is so structured, if he does jump, other players will fill in because they’re going to have an understanding and be tactically more aware. That’s why it’ll help him.
“I don’t think his intensity, his desire, his tenacity has ever been a debate, it’s always been there, he’s just not done it with a tactical nous and that’s been the problem with him for me.
“I don’t think I’m getting overexcited. It’s because we’ve been waiting for some sort of tactically aware, structured, cohesive team. In the glimpses [against Crystal Palace] I started to see that, that’s after one training session, that’s where the positivity comes from.”
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