Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sends message to Man United’s forgotten man

The Manchester United interim manager uses Diego Forlan as an example of a signing who struggled at Old Trafford like Fred

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Photo: Screengrab)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reassured Fred that he will get a chance to get minutes under his belt at Manchester United.

The Brazil international has only started one Premier League game since Solskjaer took over the reins from Jose Mourinho in December.

The 25-year-old came off the bench for 11 minutes of their 5-1 win against Cardiff City in the Norwegian manager’s first game in charge in December.

Fred lasted 53 minutes of Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day before the Brazilian was replaced by Ander Herrera.

His only other appearance came in the Red Devils’ 2-0 win against Reading in the FA Cup third round earlier in January.

Mourinho signed Fred in a reported £53m deal from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer transfer window to bolster his midfield options.

However, the former Manchester United boss only used the summer signing in 11 games in all competitions before Mourinho’s dismissal.

Speaking at his media conference at Carrington training ground on Monday, Solskjaer admitted the challenge for Fred was being ready to make an impact when the interim manager calls upon the Brazilian.

“I think the question is wrong because I don’t think it’s my challenge to incorporate players. It’s about the players being ready when they get a chance and Fred, he’s been working hard in training, he’s a good lad.

“It’s the same with Andreas [Pereira] and Scott [McTominay] because, when they get the chance, and they will, we want to see improvement. And we know there’s a very, very good player there with Fred, so hopefully he’ll adjust to the English game because there’s no doubting of his talent.

“It’s always difficult to come here. One, it’s Man United, you’re expected to perform straight away. Two, it’s an English league that he’s not used to, but he’s a Brazilian international. Andreas – a Brazilian international, the talent is there and, when they get the chance, the next time I’m sure [they’ll take it].

“And it’s easier to come into a team that is doing well. I didn’t do Andreas, or Scott or Fred any favours when I put them in against Reading in a game that had nine changes.

“Next time they come in, there might be one or two changes and then we’ll see what they’re capable of.”

Solskjaer used former Manchester United duo Diego Forlan and Juan Sebastian Veron as examples of South American signings who struggled at the start of their Old Trafford career.

He continued: “There are loads of players that have come in and found the first few months difficult.

“Two of the best players I played with who struggled the most were Diego Forlan and Juan Sebastian Veron, you know those two fantastic players, but when they settled, they performed.

“So I don’t think he needs to worry too much. He’ll get chances.”

Fred has fallen behind Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera in the pecking order at Old Trafford since Solskjaer’s appointment.

His only Premier League goal came in a 1-1 draw with Wolves at Old Trafford back in September.

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