Time to Just Let Fred be the #6

Manchester United fans react to Fred's performance against Atalanta

Alright, I get it, I can already envision the eye rolls form reading this headline. Fred should be United’s number 6 moving forward and trusted to mop things up solo in midfield. The McFred combo has long been debated and ultimately looked poorly upon. And, that would be due to the fact that the combo of Scott Mctominay and Fred in midfield just doesn’t work. But Fred alone in the midfield looks a far better player. Manchester United should have Fred sit deep as the teems number 6 while Pogba and Bruno parole the midfield.

He Plays Better on his Own

Paul Pogba in the midfield is vital to United’s success moving forward, but it can only be done with a proper 6 in the side. More often than not Ole will choose to start McTominay or Matic alongside Pogba, and that decision couldn’t be any worse. Matic and McTominay lack the speed to be an effective 6 in this side. Fred has the speed, tenacity, and engine to be a lone 6 for a full 90′. The few times we have seen Fred play as the lone midfielder alongside Pogba he has truly shown.

For instance, against Atalanta he was left as the 6 when Pogba came on for McTominay in the second half. The game completely changed at that point. Fred had already been having a terrific second half, but with Pogba on it gave him the sole responsibility to mop up the midfield. This suits the Brazilian as it means he knows he can’t rely on others. Too often when sharing CDM duties he seems to trust that his counterpart will be there in certain situations. When Fred knows it’s just him he plays his game, he doesn’t rely on anyone else, and seems to zone in more.

Arsene Wenger said after the Atalanta match:

“I would personally highlight the second half of Fred. [he] saved a few crosses in the box. Defensively he was outstanding and he worked unbelievably hard in the second half.”

Wegner went on to say that the Brazilian’s ability to be the lone CDM allowed Pogba more freedom, which in turn also made Bruno better in the midfield. There’s no question that he’s prone to mistakes, but I’d rather play with a lone energetic 6 and score goals than sit back with McFred and still concede goals.

Manchester United 3-2 Atalanta: Goals and highlights - Champions League  21/22 | Marca

Just Trust Him

Fred can be frustrating at times, making weak challenges or being caught out of position. But, overall Fred shows more tenacity than anyone in the United squad. Fred has always had the attributes to be a 6 as good as the likes of N’golo Kante, he’s just lacked what’s between his ears. But, honestly I believe Fred has better performances more often than not, especially when left as the lone 6. Perhaps his performance against Atalanta will be the start of a run of form for the Brazilian. It’s time for Ole and the fans to just back Fred.

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