Goals from Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw gifted the Red Devils their three points, and the tension from last season’s underwhelming campaign and a disappointing transfer window appeared subdued for the moment.
In fact, a good deal of the joy for United came through the sole hurrah of the past window – Fred. The Brazilian, who was the club’s only purchase of significance, impressed quite well on his competitive debut.
Taking positive stride of the game, the 25-year-old was a crucial presence in the club’s midfield trio, and was a joy to watch with regard to passing, having attained 92.3% pass rate and a perfect run of long balls.
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Such was their sigh of relief that supporters of the Mancunian giants stormed to Twitter to laud their new arrival.
Lots of promise last night all over the pitch. Fred & Pereira brought more movement & creativity in the midfield. Shaw and Darmian both had good games at full back against tricky opponents. Bailey and Lindelof looked a good partnership and Pogba was allowed to be the main man.
— Andrew Kilduff (@TuftyMUFC) August 11, 2018
Fred’s got Scholes passing range with Roy Keane’s edge. Kind of. A little. But, I love him.
— Anna_MUFC (@mufc_anna) August 10, 2018
— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) August 11, 2018
‘’Fred displayed vision, craft, imagination and an engine to match that of Ji-sung Park. When he was replaced in the 76th minute, the standing ovation at Old Trafford said it all. ‘’
— Fergie's Fledglings (@RedDevilTimes) August 11, 2018
Fred is dirty little bastard who can play a whole lot of football.
My new favourite player already
— Liam Whelan (@liam11) August 10, 2018
Fred looks pure quality. Cant imagine what he'll be like when he settles into the team fully #MUFC
— SCHOLES (@iamscholes) August 10, 2018
Obviously, merely one game isn’t enough to gauge the player’s brilliance going forward, and a fair share of critics were also on his back after the full-time whistle.
However, the consensus seems to be that Fred could really be the missing link that United have been craving for a while now.
Down the line, if Pogba is able to settle well into a more attacking position, the likes of Fred, a fit Matic, and like Friday, perhaps even a promising Pereira could very well pen a successful future for United.
Supporters will now be hungry, anticipating what else the new recruit will deliver, and will have to wait till next Sunday for more action. Will an improvement be on the cards, or will time still hold the cues as to when he’ll fully settle in the roster, if at all?