Andreas Pereira – An interview with Ian Brunton on his talent, progression and future

Andreas Pereira – An interview with Ian Brunton on his talent, progression and future

Andreas Pereira‘s future is a topic of conversation for Manchester United fans at the moment after it was revealed the Brazilian midfielder turned down an initial contract offer.

With that in mind, we had a chat with Ian Brunton (@manutdreserves) about Pereira to offer our readers some insight into the midfielder and at what stage he is at with his career.

Hi Ian. Could you please introduce yourself to our readers.

My name is Ian, I’m 55 years old and have lived in North Manchester all my life.

I went to my first Man United game roughly around 1967, although I have no memory of the opposition. The first game I can clearly remember is an FA Cup game against Watford in Jan 1969. I started going regularly in 1972 and didn’t miss a home game between 1973 and 2005. I no longer go to first team games for many reasons

I started going to Reserve home games on a regular basis around 1986-87 and watching Youth League and cup games around 1990/91.

Sadly, for health reasons I have gone from going to Reserve and Youth games home and away for years to very few games at all now.

I still watch every game that’s shown on MUTV and get updates from mates who still go to the games.

As for Pereira, he’s now one of the most experienced members of the squad and at this stage of his career he should be bossing games at this level on a regular basis, but this isn’t the case.

How do you assess Andreas Pereira‘s season thus far for the U21s?

The first thing I would say, and this applies to the whole Reserve squad, is that just don’t play enough football. For instance, they played on 1 December and by the time the fixture on 26 January this year came along, they had played just once! How they are meant to keep match fit is beyond me. Yes, they played a 6-a-side tournament and have played several behind closed doors friendlies but they can never match the intensity of a proper competitive fixture.

As for Pereira, he’s now one of the most experienced members of the squad and at this stage of his career he should be bossing games at this level on a regular basis, but this isn’t the case.

So far this season I feel it has mirrored his last couple of seasons; moments of genius with either a great pass, a bit of skill to get past a man of goals of the highest quality but mixed with long periods of not getting involved or whole games where he barely figures

Of course, it would be ridiculous to expect every player to be exceptional every game, not even Ronaldo would claim he could do that, but if I compare him to someone like Nick Powell before his loan spells, Powell would be head and shoulders the best player on the pitch almost every Reserve game he played. This is where Pereira should be now, but he isn’t.

“A lot of supporters see only the quality pass or goal, then clamour for him to be in the first team, ignoring the fact that they are sporadic moments. I’ve seen it in so many young players in the past, players who have the ability to make the grade but for various reasons that doesn’t happen.”

What are Pereira’s strengths and weaknesses?

His strengths, when playing well, are that he has that ability that top players have of finding time on the ball. His range of passing is top notch and his shooting and free kick taking are also very good.

His weaknesses are that we don’t see his strengths anywhere near often enough.

I don’t see it being a case of bullied out of games as he looks more that capable of standing up to the rough stuff but much more of a concentration issue. So often the game passes him by for long periods of some games where he will pop up with a couple of moments of real quality then disappear again.

A lot of supporters see only the quality pass or goal, then clamour for him to be in the first team, ignoring the fact that they are sporadic moments. I’ve seen it in so many young players in the past, players who have the ability to make the grade but for various reasons that doesn’t happen.

“The bottom line is that he is an attacking player with huge amounts of skill in that area so that’s where he would, and should, be used.”

Pereira is often seen coming into his own half to pick up the ball and make a forward pass from a deep position. At other times he is seen playing making runs behind the striker in the no.10 role. Is he more comfortable as a deep-lying play maker or in the no.10 role?

Without a doubt he is more comfortable as a no.10 and with his ability to see a goal creating pass. I think he would be wasted being played in a deep role. His goals are also a very important part of his game and playing deep would seriously inhibit his chances of getting in goalscoring positions.

I don’t think he is suited to defensive roles at all. Yes, he can play a superb forward pass from that position but I would say his concentration would be severely tested if he was caught out and chances and goals being given away.

The bottom line is that he is an attacking player with huge amounts of skill in that area so that’s where he would, and should, be used.

“I hate being negative but I have to stand by what I believe and my belief is that his future lies away from Old Trafford.”

What is Pereira’s potential in your opinion?

I hate being negative but I have to stand by what I believe and my belief is that his future lies away from Old Trafford.

When you look at the players already in the first-team squad and how many of those play in the no.10 position then Periera has a hell of a job forcing his way into the squad on a regular basis.

Given that he is hardly ripping up trees in the U21s that makes his task so much harder.

I also think that he is better suited to continental football than he is to the hustle and bustle of English football where at some teams, being a giant is seen as more of an asset that being a skilful player.

I hope that if he can play at a club who keep the ball on the ground and he gets a run of games then it may well help him in the areas he needs to improve. If he can do that, and it’s quite a big if, then he could well become an important player.

Whose style of play may Pereira be able to emulate in the future?

As I said in a previous answer, Pereira is an attack minded player. His style of play doesn’t really remind me of anyone, not that that is important in any way. I simply don’t see him in any other long term role other that an attacking midfielder, a position that he has all the tools needed to succeed.

It was reported in the media recently that Pereira had rejected a contract extension. Could you tell us anything about his current contract situation? Do you believe he will still be at United next season?

I read the report on him turning down the contract extension but that’s as far as my knowledge goes. I don’t claim to have any inside information or anything of that nature so I only know as much as the next man.

Whether I believe he will be at Old Trafford next season is pure guess work but I can only assume that if he wants to run out his contract so he is free to go where he wants next season, then that is what he has in mind.

I don’t see United bending over backwards to keep him as we are well covered in his position and he wouldn’t command a big fee if sold if he was under contract so I assume he will be elsewhere. I also believe that leaving United can only help his career as he’s stagnating in the U21s and needs to play at a higher level.

We want to say thanks to Ian for taking his time to have a chat with us. You can follow him on Twitter here for updates on Man United’s academy sides.

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About The Author

Ravi is a Features writer for The Peoples Person and contributes with insightful pieces into potential transfer targets as well as some of our younger players.