Joel Pereira ready to impress Jose Mourinho

Manchester United has a fine set of goalkeepers who are ready to take the stage and actually replace David De Gea, in case such a thing happens. One of them, who won the attention of the manager last season is Joel Pereira. He made his Manchester United debut in the FA Cup match against Wigan Athletic, a special game for the academy graduates who were managed by Warren Joyce. His very first call up with the first team was on 25th February 2016 in the glamorous 5-1 win in the Europa League against Midtjylland. However, Jose Mourinho thought that sending him on loan at Belenenses would do well to him and he was right.

The goalkeeper made eight appearances with the Portuguese side and he impressed a lot and the decision of sending Sam Johnstone on loan at Aston Villa saw his loan spell cut in the middle. There were talks back in January that the youngster might stay permanently in Portugal as the big clubs in his home country were all after him, but in the end, he returned to become United third choice goalkeeper for the rest of the season. Just a few weeks after coming back Mourinho gave him a chance as he substituted Sergio Romero in the 80th minute in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Despite only having the chance to play 10 minutes he was expressed happy for the chance and on the other hand, Jose Mourinho had the best words to say about the young Portuguese claiming that he could be the best goalkeeper of the next generation. After suffering a minor injury he was ready to return for the chance of his life. The manager had his mind-set in the UEFA Europa League final, but thought of giving the youngster the chance of his life, as he made his full and Premier League debut in front of the Old Trafford crowd against Crystal Palace. He played a full game, keeping a clean sheet as well, only having to do a few good saves, yet responding well.

It does seem that these games have once again raised the awareness of the Portuguese teams, as Manchester United are reportedly battling to keep Benfica away from the keeper. As a plan Mourinho is thinking of taking him on the pre-season tour in the States and he is looking forward to it and will be trying to impress the Portuguese manager. He is excited as well, as this will be his first with the club.

“Pre-season is always good for every player. It’s a good opportunity ahead of the new season, as that’s where everything starts. If you do well in pre-season, you can prove to the manager that you’re ready to play.

“It will be good for the squad and the team spirit as we’ll all be together, and hopefully I can get some minutes, which is important for me. I will work hard to get game time, and I will take it step-by-step to see how it goes.

“It will be my first time on tour with the senior team, so I’m looking forward to it and being there with the squad.”

Having a look at the teams Manchester United will be facing on the pre-season tour of the United States of America, he is of course determined in what this club stands for, and these type of games will definitely help the player a lot.

“I think they will be exciting games. We’re Manchester United and those teams are at our level, and we should be playing teams at our level like this to get ready for next season.

“It will be a great experience for me and all the team, and I’m looking forward to meeting all the fans there and seeing a new environment.”

Where does his place stand for the future? Well, he is still young and will soon have another chance. If he is this sure of what he is worth it, he has to be patient and wait, as he has already been praised by the Portuguese manager and who knows, a lovely surprise might be soon on the table for him.

Written by Fabiola Cejku


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