Andreas Pereira is among the highest rated of Manchester United’s youngsters whose loan move to Granada is producing plenty of promising performances hallmarked by flair, speed and fighting spirit.
The Brazilian has been in the social media chatter for some time with United fans, in the past, who demanded that Louis van Gaal give him more chances on the first team. The 21-year-old was already too good to be playing amongst the U-21s and extremely versatile, capable of playing as a left winger, an attacking midfielder and in the heart of midfield.
Andreas Pereira's U21 season stats:
— Devils Latest (@Devils_Latest) May 12, 2016
The youngster, though, didn’t get many chances under Van Gaal and with Mourinho in the horizon, the former PSV midfielder was sent on loan to the Spanish side Granada to gain much more experience on the pitch.
Impact at Granada
Pereira has been the solitary bright spot of a team who has won just 2 games this season and is flirting with relegation at the 19th place. But the difficult circumstances hasn’t done anything to undermine the youngster’s confidence. The Brazilian ranks among the top 20 players in Spain in terms of chances created, makes more key passes and takes more shots than anyone else on the side and is gaining valuable experience of a relegation struggle having played more minutes than any other Granada outfield player.
Best moment so far
Last weekend, the youngster scored a stunner against Las Palmas which brought back memories of Paul Scholes and earlier, scored a free-kick that drew comparison with his countryman Ronaldinho.
Should he be recalled to United squad?
Spain-based journalist David Cartlidge who has followed Pereira's progress carefully described the youngster’s performance against Las Palmas as,
'Another hard-working, disciplined performance. Great work ethic throughout in box-to-box role, broke up play, tracked runners, covered danger zones and also broke with pace on the counter. Very mature display. Granada would be lost without him.'
— Manchester United (@ManUtdUpdates_) February 13, 2017
That fits the description of a Mourinho player and with Wayne Rooney, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ashley Young, (perhaps) Marouane Fellaini and Anthony Martial rumoured for an exit in the summer, it’s not a stretch to expect a squad role for Pereira in Mourinho’s plan for next season.
That doesn’t mean he is ready to walk into the starting XI. There are still few weaknesses to be wrinkled out, particularly that familiar trait of trying to do everything on his own.