Andreas Pereira is undoubtedly one of the brightest prospects to come out of the Manchester United academy in recent seasons, but first team opportunities were hard to come by for Pereira under former manager Louis Van Gaal. Van Gaal had blocked a loan move for Pereira in the January transfer window as he promised him that he would be involved in the first team squad, however, these opportunities were hard to come by for Pereira with him rarely finding himself in the matchday squad, yet alone on the pitch. This has led Pereira to hit out at his former manager and publicly announce his disappointment at the way last season played out:
“Of course I was disappointed [last season]. I wanted to play. Every player wants to play and I was disappointed I couldn’t play more minutes. I trusted the manager and it didn’t happen as I wanted it to but that’s life and I’ll learn from that as well. Maybe he [Van Gaal] was honest with me, but during the season a lot of things happened. I couldn’t say he’s a bad coach. I think he’s a very good coach, but unfortunately he couldn’t keep his word to me about that.”
However, Pereira has been full of praise for current United manager Jose Mourinho, who he claims was upfront and honest with him about the first team opportunities. Mourinho knows that the attacking midfielder is full of potential, and by keeping him on the bench or in the Under 23’s squad for the current season Pereira’s progression as a player could stagnate, which would not be beneficial for the club or Pereira himself long-term. Pereira is currently on loan at Granada where he will be hoping to receive regular first team football, and hopefully impress Mourinho in the coming months so that he can be involved in the United first team squad next season.
“Now it’s different. I spoke with Mourinho and he was honest with me and that’s what I like. I didn’t play but hopefully I can play now here [on loan at Granada] and I can have a good season.”
Pereira also claims that not only himself but the rest of the squad are much happier under Mourinho than they were last season when Van Gaal was the manager. According to Pereira, the dressing room is more relaxed than last season which has created a better atmosphere at in the dressing room, which could be responsible for the impressive start The Red Devils have made to the start of the season.
“I think a lot of things changed and a lot of people changed. People are more happy and more relaxed. It’s just a different atmosphere.”
Whether Van Gaal lied to Pereira or not last season, it is obvious that the young Brazilian deserved more opportunities than he was handed last season. Pereira now has a chance to play regularly every week at Granada this season and test himself against some of the best players in the world in La Liga, so a good campaign for Pereira could work wonders for his first team opportunities when he returns to Old Trafford.
You can listen to the audio of Pereira’s interview with Beyond The Pitch here.