Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has largely managed to please everyone, including the fans and seemingly those within the club since his arrival in December.
The Norwegian has given opportunities to almost everyone in the squad but there were questions raised on his relationship with summer signing Fred, who’s rarely appeared under him.
However, with injury problems depleting his squad, Solskjaer decided to unleash Fred away at Crystal Palace. Being partnered alongside Paul Pogba and a confident-again Scott McTominay, Fred’s performance proved why the Norwegian is keeping him sidelined.
Indeed, the Brazilian seemed really quite nervous, often making errors, which would have certainly frustrated fans.
Despite receiving assurances from his teammates on the pitch, Fred created his own problems by giving the ball away and putting his side under pressure. He was dispossessed three times on the ball (stats via Fotmob), while making some embarrassing miss-passes trying to be creative.
The Brazilian was encouraged by team-mates who often gave him possession, but he seemed unassured on many occasions and a far cry from the player who impressed so much at Shakhtar Donetsk. On performances like this one, it’s clear to see why former manager Jose Mourinho claimed he couldn’t ‘trust’ (quotes sourced from the Daily Mail) playing him in light of United’s defensive problems.
He was especially poor in the first half, where he invited pressure onto United with poor mistakes. Fred couldn’t replicate the pressing threat of Ander Herrera, not be as creative as Pogba in midfield. While he did improve in the second half, being safer with his distribution, it was the performance of a man with next to no confidence.
While Solskjaer may still trust him to eventually come good, that won’t be happening this season.
Fred still needs time to adapt into the intensity of the Premier League and needs to make do with a place in the bench for now.