Having spent his youth career at Neuchatel Xamax before joining United in 2012, Joel Castro Pereira is currently on loan at Belenenses and his performances have caught the eye of Jose Mourinho who is thinking to bring the young Portuguese back at Old Trafford.
While playing for the Manchester United Reserves he was part of the success of the U21’s side over the last couple of seasons as they won U21 Premier League twice. With David De Gea in goal the chances that another goalkeeper may start for Manchester United are low and that’s why the best choice Mourinho thought about him was sending him on loan last summer. So far this season, he has made eight appearances for the Portuguese side, impressing and making Mourinho think about his future.
Another young goalkeeper, Sam Johnstone will be sent on loan this month and Jose is in need of a third goalkeeping option and with Dean Henderson on loan, Kieran O’Hara being first choice for the Reserves and considering the fact that it was time to award Pereira with some first team action, an Old Trafford return is set to happen.
Mourinho did mention him, using Pereira as an example about Johnstone’s loan move, stating:
“Sam Johnstone is the only player that I will allow to go on loan because he doesn’t play one single minute, he needs to play. We have a young goalkeeper in Joel [Pereira], a goalkeeper that played many minutes in the past six months in the Portuguese Premier League and now it’s time for Sam to play six months. That’s the only loan move that we are going to do.”
These aren’t the only talks about Joel Pereira. Just a few days ago, several sources were saying that Benfica was seriously considering to sign the United loanee in a permanent deal as their first choice goalkeeper seems to be on his way out of the Portuguese club to Manchester City as Claudio Bravo isn’t convincing Pep Guardiola. So far there are no links between the possible move of Benfica defender to United and the interest for the keeper from Benfica but he might be key in a certain point.
Anyway it seems that Mourinho won’t allow to lose him and that’s why he is willing to bring him back. Joel Pereira has been also on loan at Rochdale as well and he was really impressive there as well making it really hard for managers to sell him. He is just 20 years old and the future seems bright. His good performances last season won him a place in Portugal’s Olympic team and the young Portuguese is ready to fight for his place.
Questions will be asked regarding this and as stated above De Gea is first choice and Pereira’s age is against the youngsters favour at this point. He may feature with the Reserves but this means that another player like Kieran O’Hara won’t have many minutes. On the other side, Mourinho may do something about this situation. Sergio Romero hasn’t featured much this season and given his age, it’s time to move on and let youngsters get a chance. Plenty of chances are ahead with the EFL Cup and FA Cup and first team players may be given a rest including David De Gea.
Nothing concrete has happened so far but the rumours coming from A Bola and O Jogo are strong making us believe that Joel Pereira may return early from his loan move. It’s up to Jose Mourinho and a lot should be considered as if the youngster only makes the bench, his progression will be cut in the middle, not benefiting either side.