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Rio Ferdinand tips Fred to become a ‘mainstay’ under Ralf Rangnick at Manchester United


Fred has been given a new lease of life at Manchester United, says Rio Ferdinand (AMA/Getty)

Rio Ferdinand has backed Fred to become a ‘mainstay’ under Ralf Rangnick at Manchester United.

The Brazil international was one of the players who was heavily criticised during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign, with Roy Keane claiming last month that anybody who felt the midfielder is good enough to play for United ‘is living in cuckoo land’.

Fred scored the winner and delivered an impressive display in the 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday, which was Rangnick’s first game in charge, and Ferdinand believes the 28-year-old will be ‘galvanised’ in United’s new system.

‘When a new manager comes in there’s always a player or two who jumps out from the pack and you go, ‘I didn’t expect that from him, I didn’t expect him to be that player’,’ Ferdinand told Vibe with Five.

‘Galvanised, a new lease of life, you see something different in them. Fred could be that guy under this manager.

‘Because the way he plays in terms of intensity, he gives you everything, he’s sharp, he gets about people.

Fred scored the winner and delivered an impressive display in the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace (Getty)

‘If he’s doing that with somebody giving him that tactical nous now, from a structure, Fred could be come a mainstay in this team, trust me.

‘I think with Fred he’s been hammered by everyone, what he has got is a mentality you’d love to put in any young kid. He doesn’t hear the noise, he just gets on with what he’s doing, he goes out there and plays.

‘The biggest problem I used to find with Fred is that he’d just jump out of the team shape, he’d see a ball and just go and not think about what’s behind him.

‘Now in that position in front of the back three or back four, you need to have that awareness of, ‘if I go I’m leaving a big space’, he never had that.

‘Whereas now, because the team is so structured, if he does jump, other players will fill in because they’re going to have an understanding and be tactically more aware. That’s why it’ll help him.

‘I don’t think his intensity, his desire, his tenacity has ever been a debate, it’s always been there, he’s just not done it with a tactical nous and that’s been the problem with him for me.

‘I don’t think I’m getting overexcited. It’s because we’ve been waiting for some sort of tactically aware, structured, cohesive team. In the glimpses [against Crystal Palace] I started to see that, that’s after one training session, that’s where the positivity comes from.’

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