Can Fred fill the Frenkie de Jong role in Ten Hag’s Manchester United side?

Erik ten Hag has been discussing how Fred has performed in his new role for Manchester United.

With Manchester United having very few senior central midfielders available at present, Erik ten Hag has tasked Fred with playing in the ‘connecter’ role, linking defence and attack as the deepest central midfielder.

This is a role Frenkie de Jong, who Man United have been linked with for much of the summer, would be expected to play should he make the switch to Old Trafford.

However, as shown by the latest update on the situation, De Jong does not appear at all keen to swap Barcelona for Manchester:

So, Manchester United may have to start 2022/23 with Fred in the De Jong role.


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But how well is he performing there? Well, Ten Hag had this to say about the Brazilian on Friday:

“In the moment he is playing in the role as connecter, defending to offence,” said Ten Hag. “He is playing the role quite well. I am satisfied with his performance, with his improvement.

“I think he can even be better. I will support him in that. He also brings energy in the team by his attitude.”

On Manchester United’s game with Aston Villa on Saturday, he added:

“We have the intention to play brilliant football, only one thing, we have an opponent every time – and they don’t cooperate,” he said.

“So first it’s about our philosophy, we want to play proactive football, attacking football, I know the opponent for tomorrow will be tough – it is great test. In that sense Perth is really lucky.”

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