It’s always tough for new arrivals to adapt to the Premier League and it’s hard to be overly critical of Fred’s first few months at Manchester United.
Firstly, Jose Mourinho is not playing the Brazilian enough. I thought starting Scott McTominay ahead of the £52 million summer signing against Newcastle was a joke, though unfortunately, it wasn’t.
Mourinho may be keeping his cards close to his chest with Fred, not to throw him in too soon and make sure he’s ready for England’s top-flight.
But this is a player that was also wanted by Pep Guardiola last January. There’s no way McTominay should be getting the nod over Fred against lesser opposition, ruling out any excuse to go into those games with a defensive mindset.
Fred is a busy footballer, constantly on the move and looking to find a way through defences with his through balls. He also gets up and down the pitch rapidly which makes him an essential tool for transitional play.
Anyhow, he recently spoke to ManUtd.com about his first steps into football back home, his heroes in the English game and a crazy habit he has taken with him to Manchester. (Full interview here)
On watching football growing up…
“Yes, I always watched a lot of English football. It has always been really strong. I use to watch United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal, when Gilberto Silva used to play there. I have many idols like Gilberto, Thierry Henry, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes – many great players that have been here as well.”
The weather in Brazil compared to Manchester…
“The weather in Brazil is the best. It’s hot! I’m from Minas so I was raised in the hot weather. To get out of this situation to go to a cold place… actually, I left Minas to go to Porto Alegre in the south of Brazil where it’s cold, so I adapted a little. Then I went to Ukraine and it was an extreme change. I got to experience -20 °C and for me… I can’t even explain how that feels. So here in Manchester, it’s great! Sometimes I train in shorts while everyone is in long pants and gloves. It’s funny. I’ve been through worse so I guess I’m used to this now.”
His struggles with sleep walking…
“One of my brothers used to say that when I was sleeping I would say things, as if I was playing football. He said that I used to scream, especially when there was a final coming up with school, and I would wake up telling him to pass the ball, to shoot at the goal. I never realised.”