Andreas Pereira, our academy graduate, is a potential still to be fulfilled. He has not yet had his break through into the first team. But there is surely no doubt to his caliber and quality. Though he has shown glimpses of what he can produce, his prime is still far away. This edition of Tactical Masterclass covers the young midfielder, Andreas Pereira.
Andreas started his footballing career at Belgium. At the age of nine, he moved to Dutch club PSV Eindhoven. In November 2011, Andreas played in the Manchester United Premier Cup, where he impressed some big name clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool. But later on, Sir Alex Ferguson convinced him to join United.
Pereira was part of the youth setup at Old Trafford since then, and impressed everyone with his style of play. At 16, he was a regular for the Manchester United reserve teams. Andreas was part of several youth cup competitions and was a great prospect for the future. With a great first year at Old Trafford, Pereira signed his first professional contract on January 2013. Later on that year, he captained Manchester United in the 2013 Milk cup where he won the Player of the Tournament.
Senior Team Debut
Pereira played a lot of matches for the U-18 and U-21 youth teams that season. He was also a part of the inaugural edition of the UEFA Youth League. And was a great influence for United in the FA Youth Cup as well. In the 2014-15 season, he made his senior team debut in a 4-0 away loss to Milton Keynes Dons in the League Cup. His Premier League debut came in the same season, when he came on as a sub for Juan Mata against Tottenham Hotspur, in which United won 3-0. Andreas won the U-21 Player of the Year for his performance in the 2014-15 season.
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Pereira’s stats for Manchester United in the Premier League 2 are as follows:
- Appearances : 44
- Goals : 9
- Assists : 7
After a successful 2014-15 season, Pereira signed a contract extension with the club, which would keep him at United till 2018. In the 2015-16 season, he scored his first senior team goal after coming on as a substitute. The goal came against San Jose Earthquakes in the International Champions Cup. His first senior team start came in the same season against Ipswich Town in the League Cup, which United won 3-0. He also scored a goal with a free-kick in that match.
Loan to Granada
The 2016-17 season saw him getting loaned to Spanish team Granada. He made his debut for Granada as a substitute in their 5-1 loss to UD Las Palmas. Pereira’s first goal for the club came in 2-1 win. He went on to score several more goals for Granada, of which his long range strike in a win against Las Palmas was a stand out.
Pereira’s stats at Granada are as follows:
- Appearances : 37
- Goals : 5
- Assists : 3
Loan to Valencia
Andreas now moved to Spanish club, Valencia on a season long loan deal in the 2017-18 season. His Valencia debut came in a 0-0 to Spanish giants Atletico Madrid. Pereira scored his first goal for the Spanish club in a 6-3 win over Real Betis.
Pereira’s stats at Valencia are as follows:
- Appearances : 29
- Goals : 1
- Assists : 5
Back to Old Trafford
Andreas returned to Manchester United the next season and made come valuable appearances in the first team. His first Premier League goal came against Southampton. That goal earned him Manchester United’s Goal of the Season for 2018-19. Pereira was also part of the starting 11 that played the historic Champions League Round of 16 (2nd leg) against PSG at Parc des Princes.
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The 2019-20 season so far hasn’t been the best for Andreas. He looked off touch most of the time he came on or started. After lots of lacked luster performances, Ole was forced to remove him from the first team for sometime. He scored his first goal of the season in a 3-1 home win against Brighton.
Pereira’s Manchester United stats are as follows:
- Appearances : 72
- Goals : 4
- Assists : 5
Style of Play
Andreas is a physical presence in the midfield. He can hold the ball well and distribute play. Footing from distance is one of his key aspects. He isn’t afraid to give it a go. Does not dive into fouls but commits unnecessary fouls frequently. He likes to cut inside and make space for a shot. Pereira is pretty good at Interceptions and is handy starting a counter attack. He is good at providing key passes to the forwards.
Andreas is very bad at concentration and sometimes tends to play out of position giving gaps for the opposition. Due to the lack of concentration, he gives away silly fouls with bad tackles. His defensive contributions are not the best. And is bad at winning aerial duals. He still need to improve upon his crosses.
Andreas can play pretty much all the midfield positions. Ole has used him in different positions this season such as, CAM, RW, and CDM. He has performed better while playing CAM this season. Though overall, his favoured position is LAM. He was played in that position in the youth teams and seems familiar with his role in that position. While playing as a CAM, he tends to move outside to the wings, thus stretching the play. Whereas, while playing as a RW, he tends to move behind the striker to play as a CAM. Arguably, his best position is LAM, though Ole hasn’t used him in that position.
Andreas Pereira still has a long way to go. He certainly has to improve so as to be in Ole’s plans for the rebuild. With the manager looking to bring in more and more quality into the squad, it is only going to get harder for Pereira. Once he finds his true potential, only then will he be able to become a regular at United.
What do you think about Pereira’s style of play? Do you see Andreas in our first team next season with the manager looking to reinforce the midfield? Do let us know what you think about the Brazilian.
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