This season, Fred has exerted more pressure on the opposition than any other Manchester United player.
Since joining United from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2018, the Brazilian has been a polarizing character, with his relationship with Scott McTominay in the double pivot earning a lot of criticism during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign. Under Solskjaer, Fred was a near-certain starter every week; but, after Ralf Rangnick’s interim appointment, the player has remained a consistent starter.
This season, the 29-year-old has started 27 games in all competitions and has established himself as a crucial figure in Rangnick’s plans. Under the German, Fred has been given more freedom to move higher up the pitch, and he is now contributing more goals.
After some recent energetic performances, it appears that opinion on Fred is gradually moving among United supporters. His hard ethic is appealing, but there’s more to his running than meets the eye. Since his arrival in Manchester, Rangnick has placed a stronger focus on pressing, and no player at the club has pressured the opposition more this season than Fred.
This season, Fred has 486 total pressures, with Bruno Fernandes following closely behind with 467. Scott McTominay (380), Jadon Sancho (234) and Paul Pogba (233) are all well behind the leaders.
Last month, the midfielder was asked about United’s plight, and he received appreciation for his candid answers. “I know it’s necessary to produce good results as fast as possible in football,” Fred explained, “but it’s also important to have a long-term plan.”
“I believe it is unfortunate that we do not have one; at the moment, everything is focused on short-term objectives. We have no idea what will happen after this season ends.”