Manchester United midfielder Fred is confident that the arrival of Bruno Fernandes can help him unlock his full potential and score more goals.
After an uncertain start to his career at Old Trafford, the Brazilian has become a key player for United but despite netting in just his fifth game for the club – a 1-1 home draw with Wolves in September 2018 – he’s managed just three goals in his 64 appearances.
The last two came via a brace in the 5-0 home win over Club Brugge in the Europa League at the end of February while he showed his added threat going forward by supplying two assists in United’s 5-0 away win at LASK Linsk on March 12, the Red Devils’ final game before football went into lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
However, Fred doesn’t put his added potency down to chance; he believes that it’s due in part to the extra dimension brought to United since the arrival of Fernandes in the January transfer window.
Asked in an interview on manutd.com if he was looking to score more often, the 27-year-old replied: “I hope so as it’s always important to score goals. I’ve been working on it and, with Bruno’s arrival, we’ve got someone who gives us more freedom, given his quality with the ball at his feet.
“So I hope to attack and score more goals and work hard on my finishing to score more goals in a season. I’m certain that, with Bruno’s arrival, more goals will come.”
Fred believes his current position in the United side under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is conducive to achieving that aim.
“My favourite role is what I’ve been playing. As a second central midfielder, defending solidly but also getting forward and looking to score goals,” he said.
“I think it’s important that a central midfielder has good approach play and finishing skills. The way I’ve been playing is the way I like to play and I feel really good in this position.”
Talking about his goals so far, Fred says they’ve provided some of his best memories since moving to the Premier League from Shakhtar Donetsk in a £52m move in the summer of 2018.
“There was the game against Brugge this season, where I scored twice,” he said. “Up until then, I’d been playing well but I hadn’t been scoring. I think scoring in that game was the crowning achievement of all the hard work I’d been putting in this season.
“However the most special moment of all for me was my first goal for United against Wolverhampton. My wife was pregnant, we hadn’t had [our son] Benjamin yet, and I could dedicate the goal to him, I scored and celebrated like this [sucking his thumb].
“So I think that’s the most special moment in my United career. There was so much emotion with the fans cheering the goal, I was celebrating together with my team-mates. So, out of all the moments I’ve had at United, that was the best.”