Manchester United’s summer signing Fred has admitted that a couple of Arsenal legends were among his idols when he was younger.

For anyone growing up around the same time as Fred, following English football essentially meant watching Arsenal and Manchester United battle it out for trophies every year. Chelsea joined the party when Roman Abramovich bought the league for them, then Manchester City’s owners did the same.

Unsurprisingly, those are therefore the four clubs Fred says he watched the most before moving to England, but his idols all come from the former pair.

“I always watched a lot of English football. It has always been really strong,” he said. “I used to watch United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal, when Gilberto Silva used to play there.

“I have many idols like Gilberto, Thierry Henry, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes – many great players that have been here as well.”

The least surprising name on the list is Gilberto. Like Fred, the former Arsenal midfield comes from Brazil. There were probably a lot of Brazilians who followed the Gunners as a result.

Not only that, but Gilberto is also now Fred’s agent. The 42-year-old recently told the media how heĀ tried to negotiate the midfielder a move to Manchester City in January, then Manchester United over the summer.

Similarly, it’s no shock to see Thierry Henry on the list. Henry was undoubtedly the best player in the Premier League for a number of years, and his goalscoring abilities in England were unmatched, even at Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United. Both are more than deserving of some idolisation among young footballers.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.