Manchester United Manager Jose Mourinho has claimed it is difficult for him to play Fred while the team remain so susceptible defensively.
Fred was United’s headline summer signing in a £52 million deal from Shakhtar Donetsk, but he has hardly featured this season
He was totally omitted from United’s squad for Wednesday’s 2-2 draw against Arsenal at Old Trafford and has been an unused substitute in five of the past seven matches.
United have conceded 25 goals in Premier League 15 matches – more than anyone bar the bottom five – and Mourinho believes that fragility is behind Fred’s continued omissions.
Asked how Fred was settling in ahead of the visit of bottom club Fulham on Saturday, Mourinho replied: “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 [with] Fred, when the team is defensively stronger and doesn’t need in midfield people that is more worried in giving some balance to the team than being involved in creation and attacking dynamics, the day we are stronger defensively, I think the horizons for Fred change completely.”