It has been a summer season window that has taken many abruptly round Manchester United.
Whereas pundits and supporters highlighted the necessity for additions in positions like left-back, centre-back and right-wing, amid curiosity in Jadon Sancho and others, United took a distinct tack. They signed able the place they already appeared pretty sturdy, bolstering their midfield with the addition of Donny van de Beek from Ajax.
That’s not to say Van de Beek is a nasty signing. The alternative could also be more true, in reality, given United solely paid an up-front price of £35million, which represented good worth for cash in comparison with two of their different targets, in Jack Grealish and James Maddison.
However Van de Beek comes right into a crowded space at Outdated Trafford, no matter place wherein you bracket him. He can play as a extra standard central midfielder or as a No.10, with United boasting Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Fred as his competitors throughout these two roles.
The state of affairs with Fred is arguably probably the most intriguing of these. The Brazilian was instantly linked with an exit from United, because the information emerged that Van de Beek was near agreeing his deal to affix Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s facet. It was recommended Galatasaray would take Fred on mortgage, although MEN Sport understands United should not entertaining that concept.
Fred himself addressed these rumours and insisted his want was to construct on a really optimistic second season at United, following a £52million switch from Shakhtar Donestk in summer season 2018.
“I need to keep right here – that’s my want,” he stated. “I don’t need to go away. As I’ve at all times stated, I need to be an vital participant and win trophies for this membership.”
It was refreshing to listen to, even when Fred’s reply to the inevitable Van de Beek query was just a little extra clichéd, as he lauded the additional ‘competitors for locations’ at Outdated Trafford.
“It means we’re getting stronger and that’s good for everybody at United,” he stated when requested if he felt threatened by the Dutchman’s arrival.
“We want extra gamers for this season as a result of it will likely be much more demanding: the calendar is crammed and we’d like a robust squad to compete for each title. While you play at an enormous membership, there’ll at all times be competitors – I’m used to it. It’s been like that from day one at United.”
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A part of what Fred stated is appropriate, after all. United will probably be competing on 4 fronts in an unprecedented season this time period, and will not have the posh of fielding a weakened facet in European soccer like they did in 2019/20. The Champions League will name for all that energy in depth, although Fred will really feel he’s as much as the problem in all competitions.
The truth could also be that Van de Beek’s arrival forces Fred to transform himself right into a full-time defensive midfielder. That space would seem to boast barely much less depth than the extra attacking midfield positions in Solskjaer’s squad.
He may have Matic and McTominay to fend off for a daily spot. And after a interval in the course of final season when the 27-year-old stood up and took duty whereas Pogba and McTominay have been injured — earlier than Fernandes had arrived — Fred will again himself to get the nod as a rule. That function is extra about tackling, intercepting and holding it easy when it comes to passing, with Fred maybe needing to rein in his extra attacking instincts.
United have the weapons additional up the sector, however they want Fred’s power and self-discipline in a key function this season. He should adapt.