Manchester United midfielder Fred says that there was a time earlier in his Old Trafford career where he felt “alone” and distanced from his teammates.
However, the £52million signing struggled to settle in Mourinho’s final months. Indeed, he would enjoy brief spells in the team before spending time on the bench, or not making the squad.
But while that trend continued in the early part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s reign, the Norwegian is now getting the best out of Fred.
The 27-year-old played a much greater role last season and has formed a partnership with Scott McTominay this term.
Looking back, however, Fred told the Daily Mail of his initial struggles since moving to England.
“At the beginning, I felt the distance from other players and I even felt alone sometimes,”he said.
“I lacked support maybe, but I could not speak the language that well, so it sort of became a barrier between the players and me.
“I knew there was just one recipe to success: keep on training, not letting those bad comments affect my mind.
“If I was an angry guy, I guess I’d have thrown it all away because of what I heard during those times.”
Despite Fred enjoying a more regular role of late, the competition for places in United‘s midfield has increased.
Donny van de Beek has arrived from Ajax, while Paul Pogba has made himself one of the first names on the team sheet with his recent form.
Nevertheless, Fred feels happy to see his colleagues fighting to play and push the Red Devils forward.
Fred hails Man Utd competition
“We are all friends here at United. But it is good to feel that everyone wants a spot in the starting XI,” he said.
“In training, every player is giving his best, driving, pushing to the front, myself included.
“It is a feeling that, if I am out of one game, I’ll be sad because I want to play, I need to play, you know?”
United’s next game sees them travel to Arsenal looking to shake off their 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United.