Why Fred will thrive at Manchester United under new manager Ralf Rangnick

Ever since his transfer to Manchester United from Shakhtar Donetsk back in 2018, there has been criticism over Fred’s apparent failure to perform.

He arrived as the clubs most high profile signing that summer, ahead of a season that was always going to be crucial in the reign of then manager Jose Mourinho.

The pressure on him was huge, and having previously played in a division of poor quality compared to the Premier League it was always going take time for him to adjust.

Now the time has been afforded, it’s easy to see why much of the United faithful have become frustrated with the lack of quality he’s shown in recent seasons.

However, the Brazilian has started this campaign well, and could be a key player under new interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

The 67-year old German tactician was appointed last week, and is credited with creating the modern footballing philosophy known as ‘gegenpressing’ – a style built on high pressing, with emphasis on attacking and fluidity throughout the pitch.

It’s this identity that he will try and adopt at United, and after just one training session with the team, the game against Crystal Palace showed just how much of a influence he is already having.

United gained possession 55 times within five seconds of pressing opponents Palace on Sunday, more than in any other game this season.

Rangnick craves workhorses, players who press out of possession and make tackles to win the ball back.

These are all things that Fred has excelled at recently.

In comparison to the rest of United’s midfield this season, he comes out on top for tackles resulting in winning possession back with 21 as well as number of times applying pressure to the opposition with 299.

In fact, he beats all of the midfielders who have played at least 90 minuites in almost every defensive category.

Maybe Fred isn’t the answer to all of the Red Devils’ midfield problems, but he is certainly a player that suits a coach like Ralf Rangnick.

If United are to increase their chances at challenging for the Premier League title they will need the best players available to suit Rangnick’s tactics.

Fred places fourth on league’s overall list of the amount of times players have pressed their opponent. He stands on 299 with only Kalvin Phillips, Conor Gallagher and Allan placing above him.

The Red Devils could look at these attributes when shortlisting potential transfers in the January transfer window.

A midfielder is most likely a priority, Kalvin Phillips has been rumoured before, and with Fred they could maybe create the perfect partnership.

Not only has Fred shown his strength in pressing, but when it comes to ball control and retention his numbers are also impressive.

In the game against the Eagles he touched the ball more than any other midfielder on the pitch (91) and was second overall only to Alex Telles (102).

He is starting to consistently prove to be reliable, and if it continues his career at United could prove to be a successful one.

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