Manchester United players bemused by Jose Mourinhos treatment of Fred

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The Brazilian has struggled to get into the starting XI (Picture: Getty)

Some Manchester United players are bemused by Jose Mourinhos treatment of summer signing Fred after the Brazilian was benched yet again against Southampton.

The Red Devils lost ground in the race for the top four after only managing a 2-2 draw at St Marys on Saturday – though it could have been a whole lot worse after going two goals behind early on.

After the game, Mourinho criticised his midfield for failing to feed the attack, while he also cited a lack of mad dogs to press and win the ball.

Mourinho was critical of his midfield after drawing with Southampton (Picture: Getty)

United spent £52million on Fred to provide precisely those qualities, though he played no part against Southampton despite five central midfielders being picked in the team.

Now The Times report that many in squad are confused by Mourinhos use of Fred and do not understand why the fourth-most expensive signing in Uniteds history has spent most of his Old Trafford career so far on the bench.

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Fred has not started a Premier League match since November 3 against Bournemouth, when he was hauled off shortly after the restart, and has only started six league matches in total.

Mourinho picked Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay at centre-back at the weekend, and Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba in midfield – with no space for Fred.

Fred has been an unused sub in Uniteds last three Premier League games (Picture: Getty)

Speaking about his lack of game time, Fred said: Ive played very little at United, so its normal for Tite not to be able to evaluate me, even though Ive worked hard with him before.

Of course, I was annoyed, but I have to know how to deal with the sadness to be able to help me take a step forward.

The coach has chosen not to put me in the team. Thats his choice. I still do my job and I cant let it affect my mindset, I cannot let that shake me. I have to be patient.

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