Report: Manchester United Players Astonished by Mourinho's Treatment of Fred

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: Fred of Manchester United and Manchester United Manager \ Head Coach Jose Mourinho at full time during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on August 27, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

The treatment of Manchester United midfielder Fred by his manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly been "causing astonishment" among the first-team squad.

According to Caio Carrieri of UOL (h/t Lucas Sposito of Sport Witness), some senior members of the team have been left shocked by the marginalisation of the Brazil international, who was the club's major summer signing from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Carrieri wrote when Mourinho was trying to convince Fred to move to the club he advised him he would be part of a "dream midfield" alongside Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic.

However, so far this season the 25-year-old has made just 10 appearances for his new team, including just six starts in the Premier League.

Carrieri reported "even the athletes with more authority in the squad and with more time at the club" have been left confused by the way in which the £47 million midfielder has been handled.

Speaking about the player on Friday, Mourinho explained some of the reasoning behind his decision to keep the midfielder out of the side, per Simon Stone of BBC Sport:

There's no doubt that United need to improve in defence, as they've struggled throughout the Premier League campaign to keep opposing teams out.

Mourinho has started with numerous different systems and personnel in at the back, but has still watched his side leak goals:

While it's easy to look at the defenders and blame them for these issues, if United were more resourceful in other areas of the field that may alleviate some of the pressure.

Ahead of the defence, the United midfield has lacked balance, with Pogba's form inconsistent and Matic a long way short of his usual standards. With that in mind, it's curious a footballer in whom the Red Devils invested so much hasn't been shown more faith.

After all, Fred is the kind of player who would make a big difference at his best. Other facets of Mourinho's side appear stale at the moment, whereas as during his time at Shakhtar the Brazilian was vibrant, positive on the ball and diligent in his defensive work.

Even so, Ciaran Kelly of the Manchester Evening News noted this is a ploy Mourinho has used before:

With the team playing uninspired and fractured football, it's not a surprise the Red Devils fanbase want to see something fresh from the team. A run of games for Fred would be welcome as a result.

Yet Mourinho is renowned for being pragmatic and occasionally stubborn in his approach, meaning the Brazilian may have to wait a while yet before he gets a prolonged chance to make his mark.

Related

    Marcelo: Madrid Struggles Down to Missing Ronaldo

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Marcelo: Madrid Struggles Down to Missing Ronaldo

    Lua Fischer / Club del Deportista
    via MARCA in English

    History Suggests Man Utd Can Down Liverpool

    Manchester United logo
    Manchester United

    History Suggests Man Utd Can Down Liverpool

    via men

    Rashford: Man Utd Aren't Underdogs vs. Liverpool

    Manchester United logo
    Manchester United

    Rashford: Man Utd Aren't Underdogs vs. Liverpool

    via men

    Juve's Cancelo Out Until 2019 After Knee Surgery

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Juve's Cancelo Out Until 2019 After Knee Surgery

    Gianni Verschueren
    via Bleacher Report