Poor Fred. Brazil’s number nine was roundly booed every time he appeared on the Belo Horizonte big screen during the Selecao’s crushing 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat to Germany.
It’s not his fault none of Luiz Felipe Scolari’s charges could get the ball of Joachim Low’s dominant Die Mannschaft, and the 30-year-old – whose name is pronounced ‘Fredjee’ – shouldn’t be made the scapegoat by Brazil’s 200 million-strong faithful.
The three top-flight clubs listed below could certainly use a striker who has scored 250 goals in 414 club appearances…
Now Rickie Lambert has high-tailed it back to his Liverpool roots, new Saints chief Ronald Koeman is in dire need of centre-forward reinforcements, especially with troublesome Italian Dani Osvaldo almost certain to remain in his homeland after the summer.
The Dutch defensive legend has been linked with his old striker Graziano Pelle, who has notched 50 times in 57 Eredivisie games for Feyenoord, and the 6ft4in lump could prove the perfect knock-down foil for Fred, whose goal-per-games record during his career is better than one in two.
The Irons are reportedly tracking a forward that did rather well in Brazil, in the form of three-goal Ecuadorian Enner Valencia, but Sam Allardyce’s summer striker shopping shouldn’t stop there.
West Ham’s centre-forward ranks managed a truly miserable 11 goals in the Premier League last term, a tally Fred matched or bettered on his own in two of his four seasons at Lyon.
Maybe Andy Carroll could be used to tempt Fluminense into a swap. The £35m/£15m flop would love the beaches in Rio.
At present, new Lilywhites boss Mauricio Pochettino has the woefully inconsistent Emmanuel Adebayor, the criminally underperforming Roberto Soldado and the still untried Harry Kane to call upon up front.
Fred would be reunited with fellow Brazil let-down Paulinho, plus left-in-London countryman Sandro, if he were to rock up in Tottenham, and he couldn’t possibly do a worse job for Spurs than the likes of Sergei Rebrov, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Erik Lamela, Giovanni dos Santos…we needn’t go on.