Manchester United fans in the Transfer Tavern will be closely following activity at Old Trafford this season, as they hope to see the gap between United and neighbours Manchester City closed.
The signing of Brazilian Fred from Ukranian Shakhtar Donetsk is a sign Mourinho is showing a lot of ambition in this Transfer Window.
With Fred’s passing range and control of the ball, he could be viewed as a replacement for Paul Scholes. The Old Trafford outfit have never quite managed to get over losing the playmaking, match controlling, ability of Scholes. Likely slotting in next to Paul Pogba, Fred’s quick feet and ability in the pass will give United more ability in the counter-attack, and Mourinho will be hoping Fred can give them more possession and control of the game.
Fred’s arrival will likely mean Scott McTominay’s Premier League starting time is limited. It is a further sign Mourinho is simply not willing to trust young Home Grown talent, and he will likely have been feeling the pressure to replace United stalwart, Michael Carrick.
To catch Manchester City, who played scintillating football under Guardiola last season, the Red Devils may need more imports than just the Brazilian. However, just signing talented players won’t solve United’s issues. Mourinho needs to get the squad to gel and believe in the system he employs. Alexis Sanchez is undoubtedly a very talented player, but his January arrival did little to improve United’s overall play.
Mourinho is bringing in Fred with a view to giving his creative players at Old Trafford more attacking freedom and achieving greater possession and control of games. The Red Devils have clearly brought in a skilful, talented midfielder, but whether Fred alone is enough to bridge what is a huge gap between United and Guardiola’s Manchester City, is doubtful.