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Transfer Battles: Fred vs Joao Moutinho

Manchester United and Wolves supporters are eagerly anticipating the meeting between the two sides in the Premier League this weekend, what with both going into the clash off the back of league wins.

Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils got the better of Watford 2-1 at Vicarage Road last weekend to make it back-to-back league successes, this all after being humbled 3-0 by Tottenham at Old Trafford back on August 27.

And Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves have also shown many encouraging signs in recent times in losing just one of their opening five league games, with their 1-0 success over Burnley last time out their second straight Premier League victory, and third in all competitions.

And it looks as though both sides will improve as the season goes on given they were reasonably active in the summer transfer window, with United bringing in the likes of Diogo Dalot and Fred, while Wolves lured the likes of Raul Jimenez and Joao Moutinho, to name but a few, to Molineux.

And it’s the additions of messrs Fred and Moutinho that are of particular interest, so let’s take a look at how the two compare…

Fred

The arrival of Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk over the summer saw United beat champions and rivals Manchester City to the midfielder’s signature, whose addition would go some way to boosting the Red Devils’ midfield ranks.

Much has been made over the last few years of the role Paul Pogba plays in that area of the pitch, with some feeling that defensive duties are preventing him from translating his France form into a United shirt – Fred’s arrival is supposed to relinquish those responsibilities from the World Cup winner.

And the first few games of the campaign, notably their 2-1 success over Leicester City on the opening day, saw that play out, only for Brazil international Fred to fall out of Mourinho’s starting eleven in their last two league games.

And with Marouane Fellainin producing the goods at Watford last weekend, Fred may face quite the battle to get back into the starting eleven, which is probably not what the £47 million man envisaged when he made the move to Old Trafford during the summer.

Nonetheless, he certainly has the quality to make a big difference to Mourinho’s team as the season wears on.

TT Verdict: A-

Joao Moutinho

Wolves were seen to have pulled off quite the coup when they lured Moutinho from French giants Monaco during the summer, and early indications suggest that it could prove to be a transfer masterstroke.

The 32-year-old has a huge amount of experience from his days at Monaco, Porto, and indeed Sporting Lisbon to call upon in helping Nuno Santo’s side remain in the Premier League this term, yet he also brings genuine quality to the middle of the park as well.

The Portugal international, part of the squad that won the European Championships two years ago, has one assist to his name from his six league appearances for the West Midlands outfit this term, but it’s everything else he gives them in the midfield area, namely controlling the middle of the park with his excellent ball retention and eye for a pass, which seriously adds to this Wolves team.

And for a reported £5 million, the addition of Moutinho is slowly but surely looking like the signing of the summer.

TT Verdict: A+

The Verdict

Both Fred and Moutinho were big-name additions to their respective clubs during the summer, with United looking to boost their midfield area while Wolves were on the lookout for genuine quality to help them stay in the Premier League.

Fred’s start at Old Trafford was encouraging but he has since lost his place to Belgium international Fellaini, yet Moutinho continues to exert his dominance in the Wolves midfield to suggest that he will play a vital part in what success they have this season.

And for £42 million less than the Brazil international, the shrewd addition of the Portuguese ace at Molineux is putting to shame United’s expensive signing of Fred.

Man United and Wolves fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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