Benfica interested in Andreas Pereira as player not in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans

Portuguese club Benfica are reportedly interested in signing Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira this summer. The Belgian-born Brazilian was a regular in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfield in the early part of the 2019/20 season with Paul Pogba on the sidelines through injury and United needing to find a way to breakdown their opposition. However, in the latter stages of the season, after Bruno Fernandes arrived at the club, Pereira featured very little.

Pereira was quickly replaced in the squad by either Fred or Scott McTominay and then when Fernandes had arrived and Pogba was fit, Pereira was sometimes not even on the bench in Solskjaer’s squad. ESPN have claimed that the player could be on hi sway to Benfica this summer, who are said to be interested in bolstering their squad with the 24-year-old. Pereira is a good player but this season has drawn a line under the fact that he is not of Manchester United quality.

It is suggested that Solskjaer still likes Pereira and would like to keep him around, however, the manager could not give the player any assurances regarding his playing time. He does need to be a regular starter and with Pogba, Fernandes, Fred, McTominay and Matic all ahead of it, he is not likely to get much at United going forward, which would suggest that him moving on would be better for his career otherwise it may be too late for him to establish himself elsewhere.

During the 2019/20 season, Pereira made a total of 40 appearances for the club, scoring two goals and four assists, playing 2,267 minutes of football. Fernandes has played 1,832 minutes of football since signing for United, making 22 appearances for the club and scoring 12 goals and eight assists. At the end of the day, to be an attack minded player, Fernandes’ stats are what you should be aiming to match, not six goal contributions in total. Pereira was an exciting player coming through the academy though.

That said, not every player will make the grade and despite Solskjaer wanting to keep him at the club but unable to offer him much playing time, it would seem that now is the time to move on for the player. It is also stated that Valencia are also interested in signing the player – he spent a season on loan at the La Liga club only a few seasons ago but because of their financial problems, they are unlikely to be in a position to make a move for the player.

Pereira signed a new contract at United last summer which is set to expire in the summer of 2023 and there is an option for another year to be added. Pereira has played in many positions this season from attacking midfield, central midfield, right midfielder, a right-winger and even in defensive midfield. The fact that the player has not shone consistently in any of those positions is problematic. United should be seeking to get a good fee for the player, considering his contract length and should not sell the player for a low fee as they have done with many players over the years.

Written by John Walker

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.