'Fred has a great future at Man Utd' - Brazilian midfielder backed to succeed at Old Trafford

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The former Shakhtar Donetsk man has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League, but his old boss insists he will improve

Fred has been backed to become a key player for Manchester United, despite a slow start to his Premier League career, by his former boss Paulo Fonseca.

The Shakhtar Donetsk coach worked with Fred in Ukraine, where he won back to back domestic doubles and helped the club reach the last 16 of the Champions League, for two years before his switch to Old Trafford.

The Brazilian midfielder's performances last season earned him a £52 million ($68m) move to United this summer, but he has been in and out of Jose Mourinho's team in the first three months of the 2018-19 campaign.

Fonseca is not worried by his former charge's lack of playing time, though, and he claims Fred will go on to have a very bright future at United.

"He's a big talent and he's still developing," the Portuguese boss told ESPN FC.

"I have no doubt he'll have a great future at Manchester United. But, of course, he needs time. It's totally different from what he was used to in Ukraine.

"He needs a period to adapt, to the club, to the league. It's a totally different situation."

The 25-year-old star has been used as part of a midfield three by Mourinho when he has featured this season, but Fonseca has suggested he is more effective in his natural position slightly further forward in a two, where he thrived for the Ukrainian champions.

"In my opinion, his position is in a midfield two as the more attacking of two central midfield players," the 45-year-old coach continued.

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"He is physically strong and mobile, with the quality to build play, but he is also very good at breaking from midfield and going to either side of the attack."

Fred is in line to feature against Juventus for United in the Champions League on Wednesday, and if he can impress he could retain his place in the team for Sunday's trip to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City in the Premier League.