Image from:

Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santos

Current Club: Manchester United.

Previous Clubs: Shakhtar Donetsk, Internacional.

Loan Clubs: N/A.

International: Brazil 9 caps.

Trophies Won: Ukrainian League 2013/14, 2016/17, 2017/18. Ukrainian Cup 2017/18. Ukrainian Super Cup 2013/14, 2015/16.

I have been watching Fred closely each time he plays, because I was unable to figure out why Manchester City and Manchester United wanted him while he was in the Ukraine, so have been looking closely at him since arriving in the Premier League. The more I watch him, the less I understand why Pep Guardiola would want him. It makes absolutely no sense to me. Nor does United paying over £50m for him.

The reason being his terrible close control and, in particular abysmal first touch. I have just watched him against Bournemouth and the thing that stood out was how much that costs him in his ability to be of use to the team. In the first ten minutes or so he made 3 forward passes, not one reached their intended target. The first he took 3 touches to get the ball under control to play a pass to Juan Mata, meaning Mata had run offside as it took so long.

The second and third were just heavy touches forcing him to chase a ball and give the Cherries defence time to get across and deal with the passes before they reached an attacker. When I first watched games involving him, I just assumed his passing was poor because he was spotting the pass too late, but now I have realised it is that woeful touch that is causing it. There are so many times he receives a simple pass and his first touch sees the ball bobble up in the air, so he has to take a second and usually a third just to get it under full control. That costs him time and time again.

Off the ball he is a willing worker, always ready to make forward runs in support of attacks or to get back and protect the defence. His positioning is not too bad, though not perfect by any means and he can be caught out. His rashness is a problem as well, he does tend to chase the first thing he sees, he does not have the cool head to assess options and spot the right move to make.

He did prove himself to be excellent at the comedy fall, reminiscent of former Man Utd manager Louis van Gaal's famous sidelines flop, in the Bournemouth game. So maybe he does have a career as a clown ahead of him. Either that he needs to spend a lot more time on the training ground learning basic technique to control a ball properly.

Requested by -