Fred, the Brazilian Red

Fred is a Brazilian football player who plies his trade for Manchester United. He was part of the infamous Brazilian contingent that played for Shakhtar Donetsk. 

What Manchester United are missing? (Photo credit: 90

It has been over three months since Fred joined the United squad and for some it may feel that he has been underwhelming. To be fair our season has not gotten off to the best of starts but following the last gasp win against a poor Newcastle side, there could be more that he can offer as the season goes on. 

Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santos ,better known as Fred, was born in Belo Horizonte and began his football journey with Atletico Mineiro. He would play for other youth academies until starting his professional career with Sport Club Internacional. On 26 June 2013, the dynamic midfielder signed a contract with Shakhtar Donetsk worth €15 million. 

It was at Donetsk that he would start to make his mark in the footballing world. 

He has a lot of quality, he can improve a lot,” – Willian (Photo credit:

Fred had the license to roam and act as an aggressive passer and ball carrier further up the pitch. I would have also put a greater emphasis on Fred’s physical capacity and ability to press intensely for extended periods of time.

It was during the 2017/2018 season that he caught the eye of European giants like United and City. During his time at Shakhtar, he helped them win three league titles, three Ukrainian Cups and four Ukrainian Super Cups. Fred also helped Shakhtar reach the Champions League knockout stages in 2017-18. He played in wins over Manchester City and Napoli, scoring in a 2-1 win over Roma in the last 16. Unfortunately, they were knocked out by Roma by the away goal rule. Regardless he had a great season in the Ukrainian Premier League. 

Fred’s tenacity to hound the opposition for the ball was a great trait. He has good control and composure even under pressure, so it was difficult for the opposition to knock the ball off him. He is a qualified ball retention specialist who has the flair of a typical Brazilian and has the technicality to pick out the pass that would start many of Shaktar’s attacks. 

It was easy to see why the spotlight started shining on him and on the 5th of June 2018 he signed a contract with the Red Devils reportedly worth €53 million. United got a diminutive play-maker who would bring real dynamism to a team that sorely lacked a player who could link defence to attack seamlessly. 

There has never been a successful Brazilian midfielder at Manchester United. Sure Anderson may have been part of the squad that won a Champions League and multiple Premier League titles, but he just could not cement a starting place. He had games where he was unplayable but the lack of consistency ultimately led him to seeking better pastures at Fiorentina. Hopefully Fred can be the one Brazilian midfielder to break the curse. 

It has been a long time since we had a midfielder who is aggressive when hunting the ball down, so Fred excites me. Pogba and Fred should be our midfield anchors for this season and the next, regardless of who will be managing the team. Fred can work box to box, he has a lovely left foot and has picked up valuable Champions League experience and a winning mentality.

How he is always transitioning forward gives me joy even though he is still rusty. He definitely does have the talent to surpass many expectations.  He is everything the Manchester United midfield are missing. Quick tempo passing, energy, tenacity in midfield and a nit of grit that some of the players have shown to be lacking in. 

Author: TUD Author