Manchester United manager Solskjaer sends message to Fred amid criticism – Manchester Evening News

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended Fred amid mounting criticism of the midfielder.

United are set to be without the 28-year-old for their Premier League trip to Leicester today as Fred started in Brazil’s 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Uruguay in Manaus, which kicked off at 1.30am UK time on Friday morning.

Fred, who started alongside Liverpool enforcer Fabinho, provided a quality assist for Neymar to open the scoring in the first-half and he has started in 10 of the last 12 Brazil internationals he has been available for.

However, the presence of Fred in United line-ups has exasperated a sizeable section of the fanbase and Fred was culpable for Everton’s equaliser in their 1-1 draw at Old Trafford two weeks ago.

As Solskjaer prepares to break up the Fred-Scott McTominay axis which has started in the last three league matches, he emphasised the Brazilian’s qualities whilst rueing his absence.

“It’s travel, it’s long travel over there,” Solskjaer said of Fred and Edinson Cavani’s participation in the qualifier. “Of course, they lost one international window and they’ve got to catch it somewhere. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is.

“Fred played really well, played a great pass in for Neymar, so he would have got lots of confidence from again showing how good a player he is.

“Edinson needed minutes. He lost quite a few weeks at the start of the season and that was important for him, so we should be able to deal without them for this game and they should be back in midweek again.”

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