Andreas Pereira was on hand to score a brace for Manchester United’s reserves in their 4-0 win over Bury in the Manchester Senior Cup semi-final.
The midfielder scored his first with a free-kick the goalkeeper really should have kept out and calmly finished an opportunistic chance on the volley after a mistake by a Bury defender.
Summer signing Regan Poole also grabbed two goals in a performance which will no doubt boost his confidence. He’s done very well since finally making his debut a few months after joining because he was forced to wait due to international clearance and has already been included in a first-team match-day squad, so he’ll be delighted with his q uick progress.
As for Pereira, his excellent performance for the Reserves raises yet more questions about why Louis van Gaal has frozen him out of the team all season. Reports a while ago suggested it was because van Gaal wasn’t happy with how Januzaj and Pereira were playing in the U21s and he’s been missing pretty much ever since, scoring regularly for the U21s at a level which he’s far too good for now.
While there are plenty of youngsters who van Gaal has brought through, there are real questions to be asked over his approach to managing some of them and Pereira is the prime example. The likes of Paddy McNair, Guillermo Varela an Timothy Fosu-Mensah have all been hooked off at half-time in matches before as well in a move which could crush their confidence. We don’t know what goes on behind the scenes and how these young players take it but when you have seen the likes of Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini be consistently poor at points this season yet they stay in the team, it does make you wonder.
Pereira’s a cracking talent, a natural footballer who thrives on attacking. He properly announced himself the Old Trafford crowd with his cracking free-kick against Ipswich Town earlier this season but has never truly been given the run of games any youngster needs to take advantage of them. Like Adnan Januzaj, his United career has been on pause for large parts of this campaign but here’s hoping heading into next year we can see Andreas spread his wings as well as the likes of Poole whose had a super start in Manchester.