sport news Fred could enjoy Man United redemption under Ralf Rangnick after Crystal Palace ...

sport news Fred could enjoy Man United redemption under Ralf Rangnick after Crystal Palace ...
sport news Fred could enjoy Man United redemption under Ralf Rangnick after Crystal Palace ...

Every dressing room must have one: The figure of fun, the easy target, the butt of all jokes.

For some time at Manchester United, Fred has been the most likely candidate.

In 2019, he was reportedly mocked by his United team-mates after arranging his wedding to coincide with pre-season because he'd assumed Brazil would pick him for the Copa America the previous month.

Fred celebrates his winning goal as Manchester United started the Ralf Rangnick era with a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford

Fred celebrates his winning goal as Manchester United started the Ralf Rangnick era with a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford

The Brazilian midfielder watches on as his superb shot from 25 yards beats Vicente Guaita

The Brazilian midfielder watches on as his superb shot from 25 yards beats Vicente Guaita 

Rangnick appeared delighted with Fred's performance as he made a winning start at United

Rangnick appeared delighted with Fred's performance as he made a winning start at United 

Fred didn't make the squad because of poor club form and then had to plead with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to get the time off for his July 14 nuptials. He wasn't allowed to forget about it.

Then there's social media, where the midfielder has long been one obvious scapegoat as United lurch from one disaster to another.

A few months back, someone started a Twitter thread with the question: 'What's that one thing you bought but have no idea why?' Someone replied 'Fred' and racked up the likes.

And what about the £52million man's shooting ability. A clip of Fred narrowly missing a chance against Chelsea last season went viral because TV cameras instantly cut to Solskjaer's reaction on the touchline.

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Fred walks part an unimpressed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after being sent off against PSG

Fred walks part an unimpressed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after being sent off against PSG

The Norwegian stood there with a beaming grin on his face, applauding enthusiastically before giving the thumbs up. A smile duly spread across Fred's lips.

Was this what modern Manchester United has become? Expressions of delight at missed shots.

It was more that most of Fred's previous attempts had threatened row Z. This one was actually quite close.

The perception of Fred fluctuated from expensive flop and an unwanted relic of Jose Mourinho's reign to someone who tries hard but ultimately wasn't anywhere close to United standard.

The lingering memories have been of Fred being brushed off the ball too easily, giving it away to opponents, committing needless fouls or generally not quite being good enough.

Much of Fred's time at United has been a struggle to convince fans of his abilities in midfield

Much of Fred's time at United has been a struggle to convince fans of his abilities in midfield 

Yet in that same time, Fred, seen here challenging Argentina's Lionel Messi, has established himself as first choice in Brazil's midfield

Yet in that same time, Fred, seen here challenging Argentina's Lionel Messi, has established himself as first choice in Brazil's midfield 

Where Fred touched the ball against Palace

Where Fred touched the ball against Palace

But, finally, things might be changing in Fred's favour. In Ralf Rangnick, United suddenly have a coach who values high work rate and hard pressing above anything else.

Fred - who knows how to be a real nuisance to opponents, buzzing around and not allowing a moment's peace - could well prosper.

His spectacular winner against Crystal Palace on Sunday, which capped a display of endeavour and attacking intent, could be the start of his

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