Fred’s no-show vs Crystal Palace
Prior to Saturday’s match between Man United and Crystal Palace, the Guardian had felt confident that Fred would play.
Readers were told the following last Friday:
Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic played so poorly (against Man City) that dropping them this weekend is practically mandatory, so Saturday could be the right time to give Fred another opportunity to recapture the form that made United buy him.
Well, that prediction was wholly wrong.
Fred was named on the Man United bench against Palace. He didn’t come on.
Remember, Fred joined Man United from Shakhtar Donetsk for £52 million in the summer.
At the time, United fans hailed the signing which they has pinched form under Man City’s nose.
But where’s Fred now?
The Brazilian’s last league appearance was away at Bournemouth, where he lasted 55 minutes before getting the hook. He’s not been seen since.
In total, Fred has played no part in six league matches for United this season.
Conspiracy theories: What’s happened to Fred at Man United?
Several reasons are popping up to try to explain what’s gone wrong for Fred at Old Trafford.
Richard Jolly, writing for FourFourTwo last week, threw up several suggestions for Fred’s absence.
Reason one. Fred is too small:
His 5ft 7in frame means he’s a Lilliputian figure in Jose Mourinho’s supersized midfield mix.
Reason two. Jose Mourinho never wanted Fred:
The reality is that Mourinho has never started Fred in a midfield duo… Perhaps he was not a Mourinho buy.
Social media theories on Fred
Others on social media have tried to work out why Fred has been frozen out at Man United.
Some of the more eye-catching comments are below.
Is Fred dating mourinho's wife?
— KING TEFLON 💯 (@youngbossteflon) November 24, 2018
Where's Fred? This is how Mourinho just wastes money. I'm starting to think he was just a 50million mascot and he's really under the 'fred the red' costume. Only way he's stepping foot on the grass anyway.
— JOSE OUT. (@Valnoon13) November 26, 2018
If Fred and Andreas are not getting a chance against Crystal Palace at OT, when are they going to get a chance ?! Matic has been pure shit this season, but is never ever going to be dropped. He must have naked photos of Mourinho.
— TK82 (@TKtheRED) November 24, 2018
— Jamie Boore (@JayBop20) November 24, 2018
Gilberto Silva: "I'm confident he (Fred) will do well at United. He's a strong character and he has shown that in the past. There is a huge difference between life in Brazil and in the Ukraine but Fred adapted well. He will also adapt at Old Trafford in time." #MUFC
— Man Utd Empire (@Empire_Mu) November 20, 2018