Solskjaer backs Fred to have a big season with Manchester United

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed midfielder Fred to have a good season with the club. The Brazil international was the sole marquee signing for the Red Devils last year but he could not leave up to the expectations as he struggled to cope with the physical demands of the Premier League.

As a result, the 26-year-old managed just 13 starts in the top-flight but he did have his moments towards the end of the campaign. Speaking to MUTV, Solskjaer said that he wants a settled outfit for the ongoing season as the club seek to achieve their objectives. He added that Fred will have a big season ahead despite playing a bit-part role during the previous season.

He said: “Your team will always play better if you’re settled, have a good foundation and you’re not conceding goals. I think the good teams I played in always had a strong base with the keeper and a settled back line. We hope to provide that for our attackers and midfielders, including Fred, of course. We believe that he’s going to have a big season.”

Solskjaer has gone with the combination of Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay for the midfield duties this term with Andreas Pereira playing in the number 10 role. However, there could be situations whereby the Norwegian may prefer to replace Pereira with a more defensive-minded midfielder and that could pave the way for Fred to make the first XI.

Nonetheless, he would still need to prove the worth to the manager, considering Nemanja Matic is also waiting in the wings for the opportunity. The Serbian has been a regular over the past two seasons, but he has dropped down the pecking order amid criticism from the fans over the reduced mobility and slow decision-making. United are set to face Wolverhampton Wanderers on the road on Monday night.