Manchester United’s midfield never quite clicked last season. Indeed, it was this area that posed the most headaches for manager Jose Mourinho, who never figured out how best to utilise the options at his disposal. Despite many calling for a midfield three, he consistently opted for a two of Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba that either drastically reduced the creative influence of the latter or led to balance issues that left the team open defensively.
Assuming he settles well in English football, Fred is the third midfielder Manchester United have needed for so long. He will improve the quality of their possession and ensure greater structural stability. Along the way, he may solve Mourinho’s most irritating tactical dilemma.