“Manchester United haven’t had much success in recent years and that’s why people are looking for culprits. Fred is often blamed for that, although he is a very good player, a starter and always performs at a level. Last season he was, if not their best player, it among the best.”
With these words, Fabinho defended his compatriot Fred from the constant criticism that the Brazilian has received both from United fans and from a number of analysts in England. The Red Devils paid €60m for him in the summer of 2018 and although he has since made more than 150 appearances for the Old Trafford side, supporters are far from convinced of his qualities.
Fred started the first two games of this season. In the first he partnered with Scott McTominay, and in the second – with Christian Eriksen. But in both cases, Eric ten Haag, to put it mildly, failed to find the balance in the composition and took two brutal slaps from the unassuming Brighton and Brentford.
That the Brazilian has been far from United’s best player for any given season is clear, but neither can all the blame for United’s form be placed solely on him, while there are much bigger culprits (such as some wearing the captain’s armband).
All summer, United pursued Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, but a transfer never materialized. Ten Hag needed to fill a hole created by the departure of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, and days before the transfer window closed, he finally did.
Arriving in the “Theater of Dreams” is perhaps the best football player in his position. For around 60 million euros, United managed to attract Casemiro from Real Madrid. The Brazilian won absolutely everything with the “kings”, and several times. He became the champion of Spain three times, won the Champions League five times and became the world club champion three times.
And it comes at the price United paid for Fred four years ago. And Fred was arriving from Shakhtar Donetsk and all his successes were achieved on the domestic (Ukrainian) stage.
However, now the two will have to “build” the wall in the middle of the field for United, as, by the way, they have been doing it for years in the composition of Brazil. When Fred and Casemiro are together on the field in the colors of the national team, the Seleção have 15 wins and 13 clean sheets in 17 matches. And Tite’s team has conceded only one loss in this period.
“I played a little with him in the second team of Real, and then we are together in the national team – Fabinho also said, commenting on the transfer of Casemiro to the “red devils”. – Of course he will be a good addition for them. Casemiro is smart , powerful, quite good in the air; he is a good footballer and should have no difficulty adapting to Premier League football.”
Casemiro will not be available for Monday’s derby against Liverpool but will be introduced just before kick-off at Old Trafford. A major fan protest is planned for the match, similar to last season when a stadium invasion of a hundred people postponed the derby with the Merseysiders.
And while the fans rightly rail against the Glazer owners, United hope they’ve finally hit the nail on the head with a transfer and become a Brazil of sorts, with Casemiro and Fred forming a real wall against an overly leaky defence, which, in turn, to increase its quality.
Upon his arrival from Real, Casemiro will take the No.18 shirt that was worn by legend Paul Scholes, then it will be up to him to prove he deserves it.