Manchester United’s latest signing Fred may not have featured for Brazil during this summer’s World Cup in Russia, but that hasn’t stopped the club’s fans from being excited at the prospect of the former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder from turning out in red this coming season. The former Internacional man moved to Old Trafford for a fee believed to be around £50m in June, and his agent, former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva believes that he has all of the attributes to not only succeed in English football, but help to get the best out of one of United’s prized assets in the process.
“He’s a mixture of a no.6 and a no.8,” Silva said in quotes carried by Manutd.com. “He can play in both positions and he played in many different roles in his early days, including as a winger. He’s a real box-to-box midfielder and his final pass is really good. The combination with Fred can really help (Paul) Pogba. With Fred, Pogba can be more free to go forward and help the guys up front, as he likes to do. I’m looking forward to see the combination with Fred, Pogba and (Nemanja) Matic, and how Jose (Mourinho) is going to use them.”
Fred’s countrymen have had something of a mixed record at Old Trafford over the years; Kleberson failed to impress, Anderson shone brightly for brief periods, and the Da Silva twins experienced differing fortunes. However, Silva believes that his client is well-prepared for the adjustment to United.
“When Kleberson went to United, he was too shy and introverted to play for such a big club, and he struggled with injuries. And with Anderson, it was quite sad for me that he couldn’t adapt at United and stay longer at the club. If you find it difficult to adapt, you have to work at it, because there are always challenges wherever you go. But with the experience that Fred already has of playing abroad, five years in Ukraine and playing in the Champions League, he has an advantage.”
“When we went to Manchester to complete the move, he asked the club to have a teacher, not a translator. This is a good sign, not to have a translator on a daily basis, which is the easy option. He’s eager to learn the language, the culture, the way the club is – everything. I don’t see any problem with him adapting to playing in England and being a success at United.”