Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed that Fred will “probably” play in Paul Pogba’s position until the Frenchman returns from injury.
After the Red Devils’ 3-1 win at Norwich in the Premier League on Sunday, Solskjaer confirmed that Pogba will be unavailable for selection until December, while he continues to recover from an ankle injury.
The World Cup winner has been out of action since United’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Old Trafford on September 30, with the likes of Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira filling in for Solskjaer in the absence of a prized asset.
Much-maligned midfielder Fred has also been given more opportunities to shine, as he continues to try and rebuild his reputation after a disastrous start to his United career.
As per Sky Sports, the Brazilian has flopped at Old Trafford since his £52 million switch from Shakthar Donetsk in the summer of 2018, failing to earn a regular spot in the starting line up under previous head coach Jose Mourinho or Solskjaer.
However, the current United manager has backed Fred to “step up” and replace Pogba in the starting XI over the next few weeks.
As per Sky Sports, ahead of a fourth-round Carabao Cup tie at Chelsea on Wednesday, Solskjaer told a press conference: “Fred will probably take Paul’s position for a while now.
“There’s no use talking about who’s not going to be here for a long, long time because he’s not going to come on the pitch and help us until he’s fit.
“Paul’s been brilliant and he is a creative midfielder that we need, but then it is up to the others to step up.”
Fred has featured in nine matches across all competitions this season, but with only two starts under his belt in the Premier League so far, it remains to be seen whether he can fill the sizeable void left by Pogba’s absence.
The 26-year-old will surely be in contention to start against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, where United will be aiming to inflict another damaging defeat upon their arch-rivals.
The Red Devils beat Frank Lampard’s Blues 4-0 on the opening weekend of the new season, but Solskjaer went on to admit that that result was a “flattering” one for his team.
“I think Frank has done a good job because the performance against us was good. The result was bad,” he added.
“We held our hands up as well and said: ‘4-0? Yeah, flattering’.
“We were pegged back, they pressed us, but we scored two goals, the second and the third within a minute which decided the game for us, so we didn’t think we were 4-0 better than them but it’s going to be an interesting game.”