Robson: Fred will add creativity to our midfield
Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson believes new signing Fred will add an extra dimension to the Reds' midfield next season.
The club confirmed the Brazilian's move from Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday.
Robson, who made 461 appearances for the Reds between 1981 and 1994, and is the longest-serving captain in the club’s history, expects our new acquisition’s qualities to bring more balance to the side.
“I think everybody was saying that we just needed a bit more mobility and a little bit more creativity in that midfield area,” suggested United’s former no.7.
“Fred definitely gives you that. He’s been very good for Shakhtar, so hopefully he can take to the Premier League and do really well for United.”
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Fred made 37 appearances for Shakhtar last term, and played every minute of their eight Champions League matches. The left-footed midfielder, 25, particularly impressed during the group stage, when they became the first side to beat Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in 2017/18.
Robson himself is very familiar with Brazilian players, having signed two high-profile stars, Juninho and Emerson, while manager of Middlesbrough in the 1990s. The man affectionately known as 'Captain Marvel' explained that, in his experience, footballers from the South American nation typically possess great determination.
“I didn’t have any difficulties with them [Juninho and Emerson],” recalled Robbo. “Brazilians are tough characters, and mentally tough. The thing in Brazil is, if you don’t prove yourself in Europe, you’re not really a top-class player - that’s why they all like to come across to Europe and prove themselves.
“So I’m sure Fred, coming from Ukraine to the Premier League, will be tough enough and ambitious enough to want to do really well for United. I don’t think there will be any problems setting in as far as he’s concerned.”
Fred is currently with Brazil at the World Cup in Russia, and could be involved today (Friday) against Costa Rica, but will join Jose Mourinho’s squad later this summer ahead of the 2018/19 season.
He is set to become the seventh Brazilian to play for United’s first team, following in the footsteps of 2002 World Cup winner Kleberson, Anderson, Rodrigo Possebon, Rafael and Fabio da Silva, and Andreas Pereira.