Former Manchester United striker Louis Saha has reminded Fred that he does not play in “League Two” after his poor performance against Newcastle on Sunday.
The arrival of Christian Eriksen in the summer window has seen United boss Erik ten Hag shift away from the oft-criticised partnership of Scott McTominay and Fred.
Fred, who arrived at Old Trafford in 2018, is now battling for first-team minutes after the signings of Eriksen and Brazil teammate Casemiro in the transfer window.
The 29-year-old Brazilian midfielder has managed only five starts in 11 United appearances this season under Ten Hag as the Dutchman looks to find his best midfield setup.
However, Fred started alongside Casemiro in United’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle on the weekend and failed to make an impact in an underwhelming performance.
The Brazil international missed a huge opportunity to snatch all three points for United in the dying stages, with Fred fluffing his lines after being teed up by Marcus Rashford.
Saha criticised Fred’s lack of conviction to play the ball forward by opting for one or two touches more than he needed.
The former France striker, who spent five seasons at Old Trafford, added that Fred must be putting in performances worthy of a United shirt and not those of a League Two player.
Fred missed a clear-cut chance to score the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle. Credit: Alamy“Every player has to do more in the Manchester United side, not just Fred,” Saha told BoyleSports.
“But if Roy Keane was playing today and was a part of this team, he would be shouting, even if you’re playing well. If anyone believes they shouldn’t approve, they shouldn’t be in a Premier League team.
“Fred has been criticised again because there are two roles, balance the team where you have to be solid, but you have to help your teammates up front.
“There are times when Fred has the opportunity to pass the ball forwards but he takes one or two touches too much.
“Those things can be noticed and that’s a problem. Fred is playing for Manchester United, he’s not in League Two, and everyone will have an opinion on his performances.”
United’s draw against Newcastle at Old Trafford cost Ten Hag valuable points in his quest to secure a top-four Premier League finish this season.
The Red Devils are fifth in the league table and sit three points behind fourth-place Chelsea, who United will face at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Ahead of the Chelsea clash, United will return to Premier League action on Wednesday when they welcome top-four challengers Tottenham to Old Trafford.