'The merit is entirely his' - Fred's personal trainer reveals work midfielder put in to finally come good at Man Utd

Fred Manchester United 2019-20
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A man who has worked closely with the Brazilian during his time at Old Trafford has been impressed by his dedication behind the scenes

Fred's personal trainer Tulio Horta has revealed how much work the midfielder put in to turn around his Manchester United career, insisting "the merit is entirely his".

Big things were expected of Fred when he completed a £52 million ($65m) move to Old Trafford from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer of 2018.

He was a regular for Brazil at international level at the time, and had also proven himself in the Champions League, but struggled to adapt to the rigorous demands of top flight English football under Jose Mourinho.

The 27-year-old quickly fell down the squad pecking order, with Mourinho publicly stating that he was not prepared to include him in his starting line-up on a regular basis due to perceived flaws in the defensive side of his game.

Fred remained on the fringes of the action when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was drafted in to replace the Portuguese boss, and he was tipped to secure a move away from United last summer amid reported interest from Italian outfit Fiorentina.

However, Solskjaer trusted the Brazilian to rediscover his best form after an extensive pre-season programme, and has been rewarded for his faith throughout the 2019-20 campaign.

Fred has been one of United's most consistent performers over the past 10 months, racking up 39 appearances in all competitions, while also contributing two goals and four assists.

The ex-Shakhtar star's personal trainer Horta has now offered an insight into the player's recent revival, telling MEN: "I can say that the merit is entirely his. He has dedicated himself a lot to get where he is currently.

"We know that performance is something that is not easily achieved, commitment, effort and self-responsibility are necessary and Fred fulfilled all these factors very well together with the club, that does an excellent job with all the players.

"My contribution with Fred is to help him manage all the factors that influence performance - physical conditioning, sleep quality, nutrition, hydration and mindset. These are independent actions but they are related and have a high correlation with sports performance. Any athlete needs to present a balance in these areas, in order to be able to maintain good levels of performance.

"We monitor his quality and quantity of sleep, body weight, level of muscle, and mental fatigue every day. We do training sessions in order to improve his movement quality and energy use during training and games."

Fred is currently in self-isolation at home away from the rest of his United team-mates, with the season still on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Horta went on to detail the fitness sessions he has conducted for the United ace via video calls during the enforced break, highlighting the importance of injury prevention ahead of a possible return to action this summer.

"Now in quarantine, we are also doing sessions of strength, power and endurance training, which are determining factors in football," Horta added.

"The club sends the players a training schedule and we adapt our work to follow the same way, keep Fred well-conditioned and work on other factors that during many periods is not possible. Such as increasing the tissue quality of his muscles, which is one of the factors that helps prevent injuries."