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Andreas Pereira: Midfield Maverick or Future Genius?

Andrea Pereira joined Manchester United in the summer of 2011 and agreed professional terms with the club at the start of the 2013 season. Two years later and Pereira has made a gradual progression through the youth ranks to the first team. Always a threat from dead ball situations, the Belgium born midfielder has an eye for a killer pass, along with an elusive ability to skip past defenders. As a set-piece specialist he has can produce pin point free-kicks with spectacular results. The youngster has been deployed in a number of different positions for United’s under-21’s and academy teams, which has facilitated his development and transition into the first team fold. Since signing for Manchester United from PSV Eindhoven in 2012, the youngster has gone from strength to strength, he was even handed the captain’s armband for United’s 2013 Milk cup winning side, where he was also voted player of the tournament.

During the current campaign Pereira has caught the eye of first team coach Louis van Gaal after starring for the reserves. The youngster has even trained with the first team throughout the season joining fellow academy graduates Adnan Januzaj and James Wilson. But as of yet he hasn’t been been able to break through into the starting eleven and if reports in the January transfer window are to be believed he is starting to feel anxious. A contributing factor could be that he is making a transition from a number 10 to a new-ish position of right central midfield, but with United having a list of attacking stars on their books progression into the first team was always going to be hard work for Manchester United’s academy stars, hence why Louis van Gaal has opted to send some of United’s best kids out on loan this season. However, if you consider James Wilson progression, a transition from academy to the first team can be done with the right attitude and perseverance. Another thing that goes against Pereira was the part he played in the MK Dons horror show in the league cup, this without doubt furthered van Gaal’s hesitation to give certain youngsters a chance, particularly when he has the likes of Herrera, Mata and Fellaini in the squad.


With that in mind, this is the point where Pereira’s contract situation actually becomes a talking point with his current deal set to expire in the summer. Remember, it was not long ago that a certain Paul Pogba was seeing out his contract while simultaneously trying to break into United’s first team. We all know how that one ended; but the question remains, should United have buckled to the maverick and his agent? I suppose that’s a question of ethics, however there is no doubt that Pogba has developed into a fantastic footballer.

If Guillem Balague’s recent tweet is to be believed; Pereira had turned down United’s initial renewal offer. You question why this would have been leaked to the press, particularly a Spanish football correspondent. First of all why would Pereira reject the offer? Well, this is the first negotiation he’s had with the club, and generally first offers are not accepted. But Manchester United like to keep such talks in house, so there are two reasons this would have been leaked. 1. The player is being sold and this is a shout out to potential buyers 2. The player and his agent have leaked the deal to get a better contract with United, or they’re looking elsewhere.

Just by tweeting the news Balague will have alerted any number of clubs to Pereira’s availability, particularly those in Spain and a deal to Real Madrid could be enticing for the youngster, after all who doesn’t want to play with their hero, in Pereira’s case world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo.


In a recent interview with the Official Manchester United website the 19 year old discussed his love for European football and a flair for languages including Spanish;

“We watch a lot of games and I follow every league on Sky. The Premier League is, for me, the best and then, after that, I like the Spanish league. I watch other games as well if they are on, including Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal etc.”

When asked who he likes to socialise with it tends to be United’s Latin contingent;

“We go out with everyone – the Brazilians, like Rafael and Anderson, and the Spanish players because I can speak a lot of languages. So I can help with everyone. I can speak Portuguese, Spanish and French as well. So I can speak to everyone if they need me to translate for them.”


What ever way you look at the Pereira situation you have to balance it out does the player have the motivation to drive into contention for United’s first team? Or is he too ‘maverick’ for United? After all, there is a fine balance between Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison. In this case though Pereira clearly has a lot of potential, he is after all both strong and versatile. For all we know he could be the next Cristiano Ronaldo? What is clear is that the player needs time to bloom and to do that he needs to sign a new contract. It’s a pretty low risk move if you ask me and if United opt for the Pogba option they will inevitably lose out.

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By Sophie Flynn

Sophie Flynn is a freelance journalist and blogger from Anglo-Irish roots. Her obsession with United started in 1994 and she's been a regular match goer ever since. Her favourite players include Eric Cantona, Roy Keane and Denis Irwin.

2 replies on “Andreas Pereira: Midfield Maverick or Future Genius?”

How about you people stop mentioning pogba it been 3 years no one cares anymore

Pereira needs to put his dummy back in because just because paddy and willo are playing doesn’t give him rights to think he should

Januzaj, Herrera are miles better and they don’t play every week

lingard is out on loan and he’s better

Pearson and Rothwell both out on loans and he ain’t more deserving then them of game time

James doesn’t get a look in nor does Thorpe whilst Blackett seems to have fallen down the pecking order

pereira ain’t playing cause ain’t doing enough in training to impress van gaal

so

more like its just another case of a Brazilian wanting more money though ain’t even out the u21 set up yet

This season he has been outstanding for U21. He has the potential to play for the first team. But he needs to wait for his chances. Hope he will sign the contract soon and keep his ass away from PSG.

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