Andreas Pereira has been in the shadows of the spotlight for sometime since signing for Manchester United in November 2011 from PSV. A Brazilian attacking midfielder, who was born in Duffel, Belgium, began his career with nearby Lommel United. At the age of just 9, he had joined Dutch club PSV before signing for United aged 15. He has played international football for the youth teams of both Belgium and Brazil due to him being eligible to represent either of the two nations, but the youngster has recently admitted his heart lies with the South American outfit (his father’s homeland).
Perhaps the stat that made United most interested in Pereira was his 10 goals in 9 games for Belgium under 16’s – a real achievement when you consider the flurry of players who have graduated from that side and into the senior set-up. More recently, the 19-year-old represented Brazil at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. Pereira had a brilliant tournament and played a vital part in the Brazil squad. His side made it to the final, where he scored an equaliser, only to lose 2-1 after extra time.
Earlier this season there was a big worry among the fans and club itself surrounding the Brazilian’s future. His contract was set to expire in June 2015, and it was thought the midfielder would allow his contract to run down and leave the club, with PSG and his former club PSV interested in his services.
It was a story all to similar for United, to lose yet another talent for free, like they did with Paul Pogba back in 2012. Pereira was admittedly one of the better players within United’s Under 21 side, he was voted Manchester United’s under-21 player of the year for 2014–15 season, it was almost certainly only a matter of time before he would break into the first team.
To the relief of many, on 1st May 2015, he signed a new contract with Manchester United in a deal that will keep him at the club until at least June 2018. The news came as a surprise to many, but equally it was magnificent news for all at Manchester United.
Pereira’s talent is clear to see, and recently his fellow team-mates have spoken out about his potential United career.
Adnan Januzaj, who has a similar background to that of Pereira’s in that he was eligible for more than one national side, broke through to the United first team squad under Sir Alex Ferguson, but was given his first real chance by David Moyes at the age of just 18. Januzaj has also been tipped for greatness at United, and had this piece of advice for Pereria on how to make an impact on the first team:
“He just has to work hard and when the chance comes to him, he should take it.”
The Belgian international then went onto say this about his team-mate:
“Andreas is a very good player, he has a lot of good qualities and he can be a great player for United.”
20-year-old Januzaj’s United team-mate and fellow countryman Marouane Fellaini is also delighted that the club has tied Pereria down. The 27-year-old had this to say:
“Andreas is a big talent.”
“I think the club did everything to sign him up to a contract because a lot of teams wanted him.”
“He has to continue like that, to work hard and to keep going and try to win his place.”
Manchester United have a big talent in Andreas Pereira, lets hope next season he can make the breakthrough we’ve all been waiting for.