Looking back last season, Jose Mourinho’s £52 million signings seemed like a complete failure who was even struggling to get into the team. Under Jose in the Premier League, Fred played only seven games. It was only around the injury-stricken month of March that he got some minutes under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer although earlier he did show sign of improvements in a couple of games.
A major highlight could be the incredible win against PSG where he and Scott McTominay had strong performances in the midfield. But despite such strings of performance overall, he was not consistent and didn’t play a single minute in the last three league games. It was clear that the Brazilian’s was low on confidence and only regular game time was the key to his improvement.
After missing a couple of games in the starting, finally, the midfielder got his chances in September, in 1-0 win against Leicester City. And from then, he did not have to look back.
Gradual improvement over the autumn only increased his effectiveness in the squad and now he has started 25 Premier League games in a row sparking his improved form. He has consistently put in great performances, especially against the top teams so much so that he could easily be United’s Player of the Season in the current campaign.
The opinion is supported by a considerable amount of data. Below we are putting some of the stats of this season which would suggest why he has been labelled one of the best players of United this season if not the best.
– Despite playing deep in the midfield Fred has created the most number of chances overall with 68. His 60 chances created from open play is also the highest figure at the club this season. He has contributed to 11 per cent of United’s chances this season and more than thrice of last season.
– The Brazilian has made 140 passes into the final third, most by any United player.
-Fred has made 9.81 recoveries per 90 minutes which is more than any box-to-box midfielder in the Premier League this season.
– In 2020, Fred has covered the maximum distance on the pitch.
– Only Aaron Wan-Bissaka has made more successful tackles per 90 minutes than Fred this season.
– The Manchester United midfielder also has won possession of the ball 221 times this season, the highest figure than any of the player in Premier League top six.
– Fred has also made the most number of successful passes under pressure with 337 passes.
The analytical points hence clearly imply he is slowly growing as a complete midfielder Manchester United always anticipated he would evolve. If things keep going this way, the display on the pitch should only get better and he may finally acquire the recognition that he really deserved.
(With inputs from agencies)
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