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Solskjaer praises Fred ahead of Alkmaar game

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The Brazilian has improved his performances this season

Manchester United Training and Press Conference
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Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised midfielder Fred for his recent performances, ahead of the Europa League game against AZ Alkmaar at Old Trafford on Thursday night.

Fred was one of the stars of the game as United pulled off a 2-1 victory over Manchester City on Saturday afternoon, and was also an important part of the midfield as the club defeated Spurs on the previous Wednesday.

His partnership with Scott McTominay, back from injury, has given United the freedom to add Jesse Lingard to the attack and make the side more effective going forward, not just on the counter-attack.

“Fred’s had the confidence of the coaching staff, me and players all the time, the form is down to me,” Solskjaer said in a press conference before the match against the Dutch opponents.

“He’s been working really hard and he’s already grabbed it with both hands when Paul (Pogba) got injured.”

Pogba remains on the sideline after injuring his ankle, and while his return has been scheduled for December, it will at least be halfway through the season before he features again, if he features at all. There has been speculation he will leave for Real Madrid or Juventus in the winter, but no move appears to be imminent.

Solskjaer said of Pogba’s fitness: “It’s too early yet. He’s working hard to get fit so hopefully we can get him back on the pitch.

“For me he’s one of the best players in the world and we’re looking forward to having him back.”

United are due to play Everton on Sunday afternoon, with their game pushed back an extra day following their game on Thursday. A win could take them within five points of Chelsea if the Londoners fail to win their own match. There are six teams behind them within three points of their fifth place position.