Andreas Pereira has ended up being one of the biggest pluses to come out of Manchester United’s pre-season tour of the United States. Given that Jose Mourinho is shorn of several of his attacking and midfield options due to a combination of injuries and players representing their nations at this summer’s World Cup, the Portuguese has been struggling for reasons to be cheerful. But the Belgium-born Brazilian youngster has been the real success story of pre-season so far, playing in seven of the eight halves of football available to him and curling in a wonderful free kick against Liverpool in Saturday’s friendly match.
The 22-year old risked the ire of his manager by going on a season-long loan to La Liga side Valencia last year, with opportunities in the first team looking slim, and Pereira has insisted that his second straight season in Spanish football after a loan spell with Granada has improved him.
“The tour has been great for me and I’m very happy,”said Pereira in an interview carried out with Andy Mitten via The National. “I’m thankful that Mr Mourinho gave me these opportunities to show what I can do by letting me play so much in these games. I just want to continue showing him and the staff that I can play here at United.
“I’m also happy with the team here and we’re getting better every game. OK, we lost against Liverpool, but pre-season is about getting our fitness, getting to know new players and making sure we’re as well prepared as possible for when the season starts.”
“United now have a better player because I went to Valencia. I played more minutes than I would have played at United,” he adds. “At Valencia I was playing a high level every week and I improved a lot. I was under pressure in a good way, I played in a team which played very good football with an explosive counter attack.”
United fans have been searching for positives given their manager’s current dour mood, and with Nemanja Matic out of this season’s opener with Leicester City, and Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred still building up his fitness, perhaps an opportunity to impress in the Premier League is on the cards next month.