Fred happy to be the 'piano carrier'

Tuesday 26 July 2022 07:00

Fred has been discussing how his role in the Manchester United side has adapted over time.

Our no.17 joined the Reds in 2018 and for the majority of his spell in England so far he has been deployed as one of a central midfield pair.

The former Shakhtar Donetsk man has previously given interviews where he describes himself using a common phrase used in Brazil. He has been, by his own admission, a ‘piano carrier’: someone who does the unsung dirty work so that those further forward – ‘the artists’ – can thrive, or ‘play’.

However, 2021/22 was a good season individually for Fred, as he thrived in a more advanced ‘no.8’ role, topping his personal-best tallies for goals and assists for United, with four and six respectively over the course of the campaign.

Fred says he wants to 'carry the piano' for the team.

Whether he will be used in a similar way by new manager Erik ten Hag remains to be seen, but Fred is happy to remain a ‘piano carrier’ if that’s how the Dutchman wants him to play.

“Last season, I played a bit further forward under Ralf [Rangnick], he gave me a bit more freedom to get in the box to score and assist,” Fred told us in Australia. “We'll see what Erik asks of me now, he may want me more in the build-up of play.

“As I just said, regardless of scoring, I want to help my team-mates. I want to carry the piano on the pitch for them to score and help the team.

“The most important thing is that we achieve our goals to take us as far as possible.”  

Tour 2022 must go down as a success for the Reds, with Erik ten Hag’s side only prevented from winning all four games in Thailand and Australia by virtue of a last-gasp Aston Villa equaliser in Perth.

Fred is happy with how the group has knitted together so far this pre-season and, with two friendlies still to play against Atletico Madrid in Oslo and Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford before the campaign begins, he’s hopeful the good vibes can continue.

“I believe the team spirit is getting stronger,” the Brazilian added. “We're working hard this pre-season so we can be flying when the league starts, that's the priority.

“We're building something great here, I hope it all works out over the season.

What’s happening at United this week?


Another busy seven days lie ahead for the Reds, across all levels.

“Of course, there's a lot of quality with the young players, they've been impressing the manager as well.

“They've been great in training and in matches during this pre-season. I hope they can help us, the older players look to help them to settle into the team as well.

“Hopefully they can do great things with us in the future.”

This weekend's Spanish double-header will be shown live on MUTV, now available in our app and on