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Why Fred's Manchester United task is not as difficult as it seems

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It is difficult to believe that it is just 14 months since Manchester United parted with £47million to bring Fred to Old Trafford.

The 26-year-old didn't even make the bench for United's Premier League opener against Chelsea, so far has his stock fallen.

The Brazilian's performances against Manchester City in the Champions League group phase during the previous season had led to Pep Guardiola targeting him in January 2018, but it was United who ended up snaring him during the following window.

The excitement surrounding Fred's arrival last summer was somewhat dulled by United's lack of investment in other areas of the pitch and his opening-game performance against Leicester did little to raise fans' enthusiasm.

In United's midfield it is a different matter entirely.

After dismal showings against Brighton and Spurs, Fred's place as a guaranteed starter under Jose Mourinho had gone and he would go on to complete 90 minutes just five more times over the remainder of the league campaign.

The rest of Solskjaer's options are much of a muchness.
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