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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag sent Fred message ahead of next season

Former Manchester United centre-back Wes Brown believes Fred can still have an important part to play under new manager Erik ten Hag despite the club’s need for midfield reinforcements this summer.

United, who will get their pre-season preparations under way next week, are actively looking to bolster their midfield options following a disastrous 2021/22 campaign. Barcelona ace Frenkie de Jong and soon-to-be free agent Christian Eriksen currently top Ten Hag’s wish list.

Neither player is renowned as being a defensive-minded midfielder, which is what United’s supporters believe the club needs most this summer, meaning Fred stands a good chance as continuing as the Reds’ deepest midfielder. He improved as the 2021/22 campaign went on and was one of few positives under former interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

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Although he is not considered in the same mould as Liverpool ace Fabinho or Rodri of Manchester City, in the sense that they are midfield enforces who will break up play and destroy opponents’ attacks, Fred adds a sprinkling of energy to United’s midfield. And in the eyes of Brown, the Brazilian is the kind of player that every team needs.

“I hope he can become even better under Erik ten Hag,” Brown told The Debate Podcast. “First of all, Fred always gives 100 per cent and, when I watch him, I love that. You need that in your team and you need players to be doing that.

“I think he got better and better as the season went on, he came into his game a little bit more. I still think we need players in that position, but Fred, for me, is a great player to have in the squad: he gives you that energy, he gets about, he does the nasty work and you need players who do that.

“Not everybody can play the same, it’s as simple as that. Fred starts the play off very well, he gets the ball back and people can then react from his movements.

“He has been here for four years now, he has improved a lot in that time and last season was probably his best.”

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