We need to talk about Fred’s pass to Marcus Rashford against Everton


There are constant conversations about Manchester United’s midfield. Following their 3-1 win over Everton on Saturday, it was Bruno Fernandes stealing the limelight.

Fernandes’ two goals and assist secured the Red Devils’ victory, but he wasn’t the only United midfielder to show their technical quality during this game.

Fred has often operated in the shadow of the bigger names in United’s midfield, but he has done so effectively nonetheless.

There are still sprinklings of quality in his game, and his pass over the top to Rashford was a thing of beauty, as he utilised the space he was afforded to pick his head up and find the frontman.

Rashford wasn’t able to finish his chance – unlike kids around the country who’ll be finishing dinners because of his work – meaning Fred didn’t get an assist, but he should still receive the respect he is owed.

This was like something out of a game of FIFA: get yourself a striker that has bags of pace to burn, stick a pinpoint pass over the top and let him run onto it, before ultimately smashing his shot straight at the goalkeeper.

When watching this play out, you can see how relaxed Everton’s midfield looks when Fred initially gets the ball. Comparing that to the defenders’ desperation when the ball is sailing over their heads felt pretty poetic.

Fred is far from the biggest name at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s disposal, but he is still proving himself to be a very useful option for the Norwegian.

He’s started all four of United’s Premier League games since the 6-1 loss against Tottenham, despite competing for a place with the likes of Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay.

The Brazil international is clearly providing something to Solskjaer’s side that the others cannot. While a lot of that will be based on the defensive side of the game, he is now proving that he also has plenty of ability on the ball.

There will be some fans – of United and other clubs – who insist on still calling him a flop. An improved 2019-20 was already making them look silly, and now, pass by pass, those calls are getting quieter and quieter.

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