With Manchester United having very few senior central midfielders available at present, Erik ten Hag has tasked Fred with playing in the ‘connecter’ role, linking defence and attack as the deepest central midfielder.
This is a role Frenkie de Jong, who Man United have been linked with for much of the summer, would be expected to play should he make the switch to Old Trafford.
However, recent updates on the situation suggest De Jong does not appear at all keen to swap Barcelona for Manchester.
As a result, with the season now less than two weeks away, Manchester United may have to call on Fred to fill the role at the base of United’s midfield.
And in a recent interview, the Brazilian alluded to this, suggesting Ten Hag wants him to be involved more in build-up play, rather than being used further forward like he had previously been under Ralf Rangnick:
“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,” said Fred. “We’ll see what Erik asks of me now, he may want me more in the build-up of play.”
Fred added: “As I just said, regardless of scoring, I want to help my team-mates,” he added. “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.”