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Fred vows to live up to £52.5m price tag after struggling in 'difficult' first season at Man United

The Brazilian midfielder insists him and his family have settled well, but admitted that the Premier League is far more difficult than its Ukrainian equivalent.

Fred attempting to tackle Sadio Mane in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Fred attempting to tackle Sadio Mane in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
Image: Martin Rickett

MANCHESTER UNITED MIDFIELDER Fred admits that he endured a “difficult” debut campaign at Old Trafford but has vowed to “play better” as he starts to feel more settled in England.

The Red Devils invested £52.5 million in the Brazil international midfielder when snapping him up during the summer of 2018. Little return has been offered on that investment , with the 26-year-old taking in only 15 Premier League starts.

He has, however, earned the trust of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since figuring in pre-season ahead of 2019-20 and has shown signs of the ability which brought him onto the Red Devils’ radar.

Fred believes there is even more to come from him, telling reporters after playing 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool: “My first season was difficult but that is normal when a footballer changes league.

“The Ukrainian league isn’t as strong as the Premier League. It’s faster and more physical here.

“You need to start games strongly and finish them strongly. It’s the full force for 90 minutes, but it takes time to adapt to English football when you come from Ukraine, even though I was playing against some of the best teams in the Champions League. But I believe I’m adapting.

“I’m learning day by day. I feel like I’m getting better. I have a big heart. I will play better. I like Manchester. My family are here and they like it too. They are speaking English. I’m having English classes, too, but it’s not possible all the time because we travel a lot but we speak lots of languages here.

“I have a good relationship with the manager and the coaches. I speak to the coach [Mike Phelan] every day. And to Michael [Carrick] and Kieran [McKenna].

Michael played in my position – he knows what he is saying. They are always encouraging me and I feel the support of fans, too. And I thank them for that.”

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Fred has taken in eight appearances for United so far this season, with a starting berth filled in their last three games across all competitions.

He will be hoping to retain his spot for a Europa League meeting with Partizan Belgrade on Thursday, before attention then switches back to the Premier League and a trip to Norwich on Sunday.

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