Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed that he did not pick Fred in the matchday squad for the 3-1 win against West Ham yesterday evening due to tactical reasons.
Solskjaer says the Brazilian was not injured but he simply had other holding midfielders at his disposal who had better physical attributes and could deal with their opponent’s height advantage:
“Today, it was a tactical decision to go with more physically strong… more height is actually more accurate than physically strong. We needed height and Paul, Scott [McTominay] and Nemanja [Matic] were my three midfielders that I brought down with the squad.”
It’s a pretty unusual explanation for snubbing a player but it certainly worked out for Solskjaer, with the away side coming from behind to secure their ninth consecutive league victory on the road.
Fred will also not be in the squad for the crucial Champion League group stage match against RB Leipzig in Germany on Tuesday night after being sent off for two bookable offences versus Paris Saint-Germain last week.
Whether he’ll be back in Solskjaer’s first-team plans for the Manchester derby next weekend, we shall have to wait and see.