‘The day we are stronger defensively I think the horizons for Fred change’: Jose Mourinho admits he can’t risk playing £52m man until Manchester United improve at the back
- Fred was left out of the squad for Manchester United’s draw against Arsenal
- Jose Mourinho says his side must be better in defence for Fred to play more
- The Brazilian cost £52million but has only started three of the last 14 games
The 25-year-old has started just three of United’s last 14 games and was left out of the squad completely against Arsenal in midweek.
Fred has blamed his lack of first-team opportunities for losing his place in the Brazil national team, but Mourinho believes he cannot be risked on a regular basis until there are more defensively-minded players around him.
Manchester United signed Fred for £52m last summer but he has struggled to make an impact
Jose Mourinho says he cannot risk playing Fred until his United side are stronger defensively
Asked about the former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder’s progress, the United boss said: ‘Step by step. You have also other players in other clubs that needed their time, and you have some of them that played even less than what Fred is playing.
‘I think Fred when the team is defensively stronger and doesn’t need in midfield people that are more worried in giving some balance to the team than being involved in creation and attacking dynamic, the day we are stronger defensively I think the horizons for Fred change completely.’
More to follow.
The Brazilian midfielder is challenged by Young Boys’ Djibril Sow at Old Trafford last month
Mourinho believes Fred will play more when he does not need so many defensive midfielders