The 2018-19 season was not an easy one for Fred. The Brazilian midfielder joined Manchester United for a deal reportedly around 50 million pounds and moved after years spent in Ukraine, playing for Shakhtar Donetsk, to now start competing in the Premier League.
His start was not promising much and at one point during the season, he looked completely lost at new surroundings, making many wonder why Man United not only paid that much money for him, but why they even wanted to sign him anyway in the first place.
But in the end, Fred slightly improved his image at the club, although not even closely enough. The second season at Old Trafford will be crucial for him if he is to ever have any future at this club. Settling in in England and much tougher league is now over and Fred will have to show why the club insisted on signing him.
Appearances across all competitions
So, during 2018-19 season, Fred made 25 appearances in all competitions. In Premier League, there were 17 of those, 13 starts and four substitute appearances. Champions League brought him six appearances, three of those coming in the latter stages of the competition. He added one appearances in both domestic cup competitions, amounting to a total of 1593 minutes in his first season at the club. That is exactly 17.7 full 90-minute matches and that is simply not enough for a first season at the club, especially when we know what kind of performances he was putting in.
His first goal for Man United – and only so far – came early into the season, in a 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers, while he also added one assist in Premier League, again against Wolves, but this time in a 2-1 loss.
Did he perform above or below the expectations?
It is quite easy to say Fred performed way below expectations, especially when he came as by far the most expensive signing of Man United. His price tag is something that makes people look at him in a different way than he would have been if he was signed for half of those 50 million pounds. But Man United did pay for him that much and he must be evaluated accordingly.
Did Man United overpay for him? Definitely, and that could continue being the burden for him, but Fred will have a good opportunity to offer much better performances in his second season at the club. Fred often looked lost on the pitch, making too many mistakes in possession and also positionally, but now after a new full pre-season he must become one of Man United’s most reliable players.
Will he be a part of Manchester United during the 2019-20 season?
Yes, Fred will be part of Manchester United during the 2019-20 season and will be expected to drastically improve. With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as his manager this time, he could be given a greater opportunity in terms of responsibility on the pitch. Whatever might be the case in the end, this season will be looked at to make a definitive decision of whether Fred was a failure at Man United or his transfer was a good piece of business.