Manchester United have decided to retire the number 17 jersey in honour of Fred, after the Brazilian midfielder’s first (and probably only) good game for the club in Spain on Tuesday night.
The 28-year-old, who has been rather cruelly described in certain quarters as just a “s**t Kleberson” since joining the Red Devils in 2018, played the game of his life against Villarreal at El Madrigal, contributing to both of United’s goals in their 2-0 win.
Fred’s performance in what was arguably the club’s most important game of the season so far, was nothing short of sensational, with the Brazilian covering so much ground that even the “heat map” couldn’t cope with his movements, eventually melting 10 minutes from time.
“As soon as Fred came back into the dressing-room I immediately told him that we would have to retire the shirt after that performance,” an exuberant assistant coach Mike Phelan told Paddy Power News after the game.
“He was sensational tonight and for one minute I thought I was watching Nani all over again out there.”
The former Portuguese international, along with Dutch defender Daley Blind, are two players who have previously worn the number 17 jersey at United, and both are reportedly happy to hear that the shirt Fred wore will now be displayed in the club museum at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, a Paddy Power News source at the Theatre of Dreams this morning explained to us that: “The museum curator is delighted to be adding Fred’s jersey to the priceless collection of shirts already on display for the public to see.
“Just look at the company Fred will be keeping in there, with the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best, Eric Cantona and Eric Djemba-Djemba already having their jersey’s immortalised in United folklore.”
The news has also had a positive effect on shirt sales at the club’s ten megastores too. “When I got into work this morning they were queuing round the block to buy the third kit with Fred’s name and number on the back,” a member of staff at the United Megastore told us today.
“It’s been an astonishing turn-around because since 2018 when he arrived, I reckon we’ve only managed to knock out about five shirts in total with his name and number on the back and that includes one guy who asked for the word ‘Crap’ to be put on his, along with the number 17.”
For the record, United officials refused to tell us what number Fred will now wear at Stamford Bridge this weekend, when his performance is expected to return to Kleberson levels.
**Paddy Power’s breaking news coverage is 100% fake news. And that’s the truth.**
- Who’ll replace Ole at Old Trafford? Get the latest odds right here
- Van de Beek spotted with crate of Champagne after Ole sacking
- Woodward hires plumber to fix leaks in Man United dressing room
- Brendan Rodgers buys 25 envelopes ahead of United switch
- Score your Football betting tips and previews at Paddy Power News