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Andreas Pereira has Manchester United contract extended; now he can earn his stripes

Manchester United has reportedly triggered an option to extend the contract of 23-year-old Andreas Pereira for a further year, which was a clause inserted in his last contract, which will have been signed two years ago this coming summer. It means that the Belgian-born Brazilian will not now leave the club as a free agent at the end of the season.

Pereira opted to spend two seasons on loan during the Jose Mourinho era at the Old Trafford club, spending the 2016/17 season with La Liga side Granada, where he made 37 appearances, scoring five goals, then spending the following season with Valencia, making 29 appearances, scoring a single goal. This season was his first in United’s first team.

The 23-year-old has some obvious talents and under Mourinho, he was earmarked as a number six, playing in the centre of midfield, whereas during his time when he came through the clubs academy, he largely played a role on the wing or in a central attacking position in the midfield. Pereira does need to find the position he feels at home in.

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This season, Pereira has made a total of 14 appearances for United, eight of which have been under caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. At a time where Solskjaer has Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, and Juan Mata missing, due to both injury and in Pogba’s case, suspension (Paris Saint-Germain), Pereira benefited, playing in crucial matches.

At the start of March, Pereira started against Southampton. After 26 minutes, United conceded the first goal of the game but early in the second half, Pereira struck well, scoring his first Premier League goal. He then assisted Romelu Lukaku for United to take the lead for the first time in the game before Southampton equalised.

It was that performance that showed Pereira as the type of player United needed in the team. He is a confident player, at times, and at only 23, he has a lot to achieve in the game, despite being around for a number of years already. The introduction of Solskjaer to the team has brought back the belief in young players again, which is in United’s DNA.

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Pereira then played a part in United’s 3-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League, which saw them score a late penalty, which was given by VAR, levelling the aggregate score to 3-3, seeing United prevail on away goals. How fitting. It was another opportunity for Solskjaer to see what Pereira was capable of.

Seeing Pereira put in some decent performances and finally getting a Premier League goal, previously the player has scored in the League Cup during the 2015/16 season, it has helped the player find his feet, which in turn, has led to the club giving the player another opportunity to earn a new long-term contract with the club.

United has an important match coming up this weekend, where they will face Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux in the quarter-final of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday evening, a match which will be shown live on BBC One HD in the United Kingdom. Pereira could see himself once again in the starting XI, seeking to earn more praise from Solskjaer.

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