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Friday, January 27, 2023

Man Utd player’s World Cup unlikely to change his role under Erik ten Hag

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Casemiro and Fred’s midfield partnership was somewhat highlighted when the former arrived at Manchester United from Real Madrid in the summer. The duo commonly featured alongside one another in World Cup qualifying but not so much during this month’s tournament itself. Casemiro started all four of his matches and scored the late winner in the 1-0 triumph over Switzerland during the group stages. The midfielder was never taken off, unlike countryman Fred who started just two of his four outings and failed to play a whole 90 minutes. It’s game time he may have to get used to at Old Trafford. READ MORE: When Manchester United players return from the World Cup The Manchester Evening News revealed that the 29-year-old is one of five players whose one-year contract extensions are set to be triggered by United with their current deals expiring in June. Fred has played 16 times for Erik ten Hag but has started just seven of those games. He’s seen out the whole game just three times which is a scenario he’s not been used to in recent years amid his partnership with Scott McTominay – both now rotation players. Fred has not been handed consistent lengthened game time this season, usually having to settle for substitute appearances after a handful of starts. It’s all been rather sporadic, much like his campaign in Qatar. In truth, he’s not done anything to disrupt the equilibrium of the midfield trio Ten Hag has formed since his arrival. Fred has not played alongside national teammate Casemiro that often this term, Christian Eriksen retaining that position after arguably being United’s best player so far this season. Attack-minded Bruno Fernandes is the final central undroppable. Fred has found it hard to break back into the starting XI and it might not get easier. Ten Hag will want to stock up during his rebuild and that will inevitably mean the arrival of a new midfielder somewhere down the line. If his contract extension is triggered, he has three more transfer windows to get through. That’s not to say he won’t play any role at all. The Brazilian has been a frequent and useful tool, showing his capabilities with his opener against Tottenham. But in the same breath, he’s also been given plenty of opportunity to prove himself under Ten Hag, and being left on the bench for the final two league games before the World Cup break perhaps isn’t terrific feedback. Furthermore, he’s not started just two Premier League matches since his half-time substitution in August’s 4-0 loss to Brentford. His manager is still keen to keep him on beyond the summer but it looks as though it will be in a rotational role where he will have to wait for injuries, suspensions and cup games for starts. READ NEXT: United have two options in search for new striker Garnacho sends message to Van Persie after training Behind the scenes at United training Messi tells United why they made mistake under Rangnick Manchester United news homepage Story SavedYou can find this story in  My Bookmarks.Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right.

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