Fred was the catalyst for Solskjaer
Manchester United midfielder Fred is beginning to show his true colours at Old Trafford.
The Brazilian midfielder has taken time to settle into life in the Premier League since arriving at United from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer of 2018.
Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the second half of last season, the 26-year-old took small steps towards winning the manager’s vote in the engine room.
However, this season, he was on the back foot after missing part of the summer tour. He didn’t appear in the first-team squad until the Leicester City win in mid-September, five games into the campaign.
At the time, Solskjaer said: ”It’s the most difficult period in August to manage a big squad because there is only one game a week and everyone is fit because we’ve just had pre-season and everyone is ready to play.
“September, October, November, December is when injuries come, and that’s when you play most of the games, so he will play plenty of football.”
And he’s been true to his word.
Since that first appearance of the season against Leicester, as a substitute for Nemanja Matic, Fred has been involved in all 14 of Solskjaer’s playing squads and has started eight of the last nine matches.
If he begins the match against Sheffield United on November 24 at Bramall Lane, after the international break, it will equal his longest run of starts for United.
The last time he made six successive starts in the XI was back in April.
The Reds boss enjoyed Fred’s influence on United’s 3-1 victory against Brighton and pinpointed the South American as a platform for success.
“You get confidence from playing games,” Solskjaer said.
“He has not really had a run of games and I think he set us up with his midfield play.
“He won the ball. We had to get after them because, with [Davy] Propper and [Dale] Stephens in midfield, we couldn’t let them get on the ball and I thought Fred was maybe the catalyst.
“Maybe there were a couple of fouls he shouldn’t have made in the first half to give them chances because that was one of the big opportunities they had, from set-plays.
“But, otherwise, he was excellent.”
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