Brazil midfielder Fred has regularly been slammed by Old Trafford heroes Roy Keane and Paul Scholes.
Manchester United heroes Roy Keane and Paul Scholes have never exactly championed Fred and yet they might have been ultimately proven wrong about him by Casemiro.
Keane and Scholes need no introduction at Old Trafford and know a thing or two about what it takes to succeed within the United engine room. For so long – before Casemiro and Christian Eriksen arrived this summer – that had been underlined as a “problem position” by supporters, pundits and general observers.
Fred and long-term partner Scott McTominay were often subject to criticism, with Keane and Scholes never ones who would hold back. However, as well as performing so imperiously himself, Casemiro has helped improve others around him this season – including Fred.
While his international teammate has had a reduced role this campaign – with Casemiro and Eriksen currently the preferred double pivot – Fred has played his part when deputising and from the bench. He scored late during a 3-0 victory over Nottingham Forest and his goal was assisted by Casemiro.So was that enough to silence the doubters?
Speaking about Fred on the opening day when United were humbled by Brighton, former midfielder turned pundit Keane told Sky Sports: “Decision making and football intelligence – in particular from Fred – and I’ve said it for a long time. Fred and McTominay are not good enough.
“They won’t get Manchester United back competing at the top. We see it week-in, week-out. Not up to it.”
Scholes, who was on duty for Premier League Productions that same afternoon, added: “The quality in the middle was poor and nowhere near good enough. But we’ve seen that over the last few years.
“With Fred and McTominay, he [Ten Hag] is going to have to play just one of them [moving forward], but even one of them is probably too many. Fred gives the ball away all the time and McTominay tries run with it constantly, and then gives it away.”Pass it to your best players. It’s not that difficult.”
Having played alongside Fred with club and country, Casemiro did not agree with those two when assessing his colleague shortly after signing, while their combination play against Forest – and in other games before that – has gone a long way to proving the ex-Real Madrid superstar right.