United midfielder Fred in Singapore.

Solskjaer: We know Fred has talent and can improve

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident Fred can add quality to his Manchester United team, but first the Brazilian must catch up on training after missing part of Tour 2019 for personal reasons.

Combative midfielder Fred worked with his team-mates at the Aon Training Complex in the first week of July, yet did not travel to Australia with the squad as he was due to marry his partner. 

The 26-year-old former Shakhtar Donetsk player has now joined Solskjaer’s group for the second leg of Tour 2019 in Asia and trained at the Singapore National Stadium on Friday afternoon, cutting an enthusiastic and energetic figure in front of at least 2,000 local supporters. 

During a press conference to preview Saturday’s International Champions Cup match against Inter Milan, which will be broadcast live on MUTV, Solskjaer was asked to provide an update on Fred’s arrival and the other latecomer, Italian defender Matteo Darmian.

“Well, obviously, today we're going to have to see where they're at, with them training back home,”
said Old to reporters in Singapore.
“Fred's been back over in Brazil and had got married, so he's probably got loads of energy and I'm sure he's keen to join in.”

Solskjaer: My assessment of FredVideo

Later in the press conference, one journalist asked Solskjaer to assess Fred’s challenging first season at United and the manager spoke optimistically about what the midfielder can offer going forward.

“Well, I think you’re not surprised when a player who has played in Ukraine finds it a little bit hard in the beginning,”
said Solskjaer.
“But we know the talent is there. 

“We’ve seen, towards the end of the season, what Fred can give us: the PSG game, the Arsenal and Man City games. And, of course, he’s one that we hope is going to take another step this season. Hopefully, missing 10 days of our pre-season won’t set him back too much.”

There is always plenty of interest in the central midfield position at United and particularly this summer, after Ander Herrera left the club and later joined Paris Saint-Germain. 

When quizzed on his plan for that area of the team, the manager gave this response: “We’re working on putting a squad together who can compete. Of course, we have some youngsters, but we have loads of players who can play and loads of ways we can play. Maybe it’s a slight change of system.”

Serie A club Inter Milan provide the opposition on Saturday (12:30 BST) at the Singapore National Stadium, and as with all our pre-season games, it will be shown live on MUTV.

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