Manchester United genuinely couldn’t have asked for a better start to the campaign. Beating Chelsea, a top-four rival 4-0, sent out a real message.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side just wanted it more. They looked razor-sharp for the most part, particularly in the final third of the field.
Going into the year us fans always felt like the midfield was our main issue. Paul Pogba aside there’s just not much natural ability there. One player who has potential is Fred, though he struggles were evident last term.
In his pre-match press conference today, Solskjaer signalled out Fred, claiming that the Brazil international is going to have a ‘big season’.
“The good teams I’ve played in always had a strong base with a settled backline,” says Solskjaer, per @ManUtd’s Twitter feed. “We hope to provide that for our attackers and midfielders and Fred, of course, we believe that he’s going to have a big season.”
There’s every reason to be positive. Fred needs to look at Victor Lindelof as his main inspiration. Don’t forget that the Ice Man needed a year to settle in. Now look at him. We saw glimpses of Fred’s ability, most notably in the Champions League last term – and if he can continue to develop and grow as a player there’s every chance he’ll be successful here.
The good news for the 26-year-old midfielder is the fact that the competition is sparse. He will get opportunities to play minutes this term and it’s up to the former Shakhtar Donetsk man to grab those chances with both hands.
I believe he’ll steadily progress throughout the campaign with the view to being right at his peak in twelve months time.