Ralf Rangnick believes that several Manchester United players have received criticism this season as a result of comparisons to the club’s greatest players.
When Harry Maguire was removed in the Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid last month, a large section of the Old Trafford crowd booed him off, and Marcus Rashford and Fred have also been booed off when they have been substituted in home games.
Maguire’s detractors followed him to Wembley, where he was booed as his name was announced before England’s 3-0 friendly victory against the Ivory Coast on Tuesday night.
Former United captains Roy Keane and Gary Neville are regular Sky Sports pundits, while Premier League and Champions League winners Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes are regulars on BT Sport, the other domestic and European rights holder.
Former players have questioned Fred and Scott McTominay’s position in the United midfield as a hindrance to the team’s growth, and Rangnick emphasized how well Fred has rebounded since he was booed by United fans in the November derby loss to City.
“I don’t believe this is a personal issue; it has nothing to do with Harry,” Rangnick explained. “We know of a couple of other players who have been chastised in recent months, but also in previous years.
“For example, Fred, who is a highly significant player for this club and a very useful player for Brazil, is a frequent starter in the starting XI. I watched his first game from the beginning and thought he did well.
“Maybe it’s still because of the enormous expectations around this club, and people like to compare themselves to prior greats and legends. I can only tell you, Fred, that we may also discuss Scotty and Harry, who are key players with the proper mindset.”