Joel Pereira has expressed his desire to impress Jose Mourinho on what will be his first pre-season tour with the Manchester United first team this month.
The Portuguese spent a portion of last season impressing whilst on loan at Primeira Liga side Belenenses before returning to Manchester to occupy the third choice spot following Sam Johnstone‘s move to Aston Villa.
He then received his first senior start against Crystal Palace back in May and looked firm between the sticks, claiming a clean sheet in a comfortable 2-0 win.
And Pereira, speaking on the club’s official website, noted that he wanted to continue moving in the right direction under the Portuguese.
“Pre-season is always good for every player,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity ahead of the new season, as that’s where everything starts. If you do well in pre-season, you can prove to the manager that you’re ready to play.
“It will be good for the squad and the team spirit as we’ll all be together, and hopefully I can get some minutes, which is important for me. I will work hard to get game time, and I will take it step-by-step to see how it goes.
“It will be my first time on tour with the senior team, so I’m looking forward to it and being there with the squad.”
Mourinho has pin-pointed Pereira as somebody capable of going on to assert himself as the best Portuguese keeper of his generation, which you can see as both a blessing and a curse, I guess.
On one hand, that is a lofty pedestal on which to be placed at just the age of 21; on the other, his manager has clearly seen something in the youngster that separates him from your standard third choice keeper.
He will, with United set to play a total of eight games over the next month, have plenty of opportunities to embed himself further into Mourinho’s plans ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.