The Brazilian playmaker joined the Red Devils from Shakhtar Donetsk last month for a fee reported to be in excess of £50million, but is yet to feature for United in pre-season after World Cup duty with the Selecao.
The 25-year-old will be a welcome addition to United’s midfield this season following the departure of Michael Carrick, but Mourinho believes he will bring some creativity and flair to the centre of the park – and something different to the long-serving midfielder.
“Nemanja Matic, Marouane Fellaini, Paul Pogba and even Ander Herrera are physical and strong players, he told reporters.
“We think having a player like Fred in the squad – who is more technical, more quality of passing in short spaces – he can maybe connect [with] the attacking players.
“He could be an important player for us, but let’s wait. Michael Carrick is Michael Carrick and there is no successor.”
Manchester United continues their pre-season on Wednesday when they host AC Milan in Pasadena, following draws with Club America and San Jose Earthquakes so far.