McGuinness: Andreas Pereira will be a special player at Man United

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United youth coach Paul McGuinness has hailed youngster Andreas Pereira and insisted the 20-year-old will go on to be a “special” player.

McGuinness, who spent 28 years as both an academy player and coach, has overseen Pereira’s development alongside a multitude of others, some of which have gone on to be first team regulars.

The Brazilian has struggled to make his mark on the senior side, making just 11 appearances since joining the club in 2014 at the age of 18.

However, McGuinness has touted Pereira as a future regular at Old Trafford.

Andreas Pereira is one of these players who could be something special in the end,” he said.

“At the moment, he’s got to learn how to fit into the team and how to be a team player. But he has the belief and the ego to be a top player – and, importantly, the talent to go with it. He’s got the running power too.

“It’s just a case of putting it together and knowing how to play your role in the team. Sometimes these players with real talent, they want to show how good they are all the time but when you’re a playmaker, you have to make everyone else play well. I’m sure he’ll learn that.

During his time at Man United, McGuinness helped 86 academy products earn their first-team debut with 23 becoming internationals. In this sense, very few people – if any – are more knowledgeable about United’s youth system than the 50-year-old.

His wholehearted backing of Pereira shows how highly the youngster is rated by those who watch him on a daily basis. But while the likes of Marcus Rashford, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Jesse Lingard continue to assert themselves on the senior side, Pereira has struggled to make his mark, often failing to acclimatise to the physical nature of the Premier League.

However, as his free-kick and performance against Ipswich last September showed, the Brazilian possesses plenty of talent, and the upcoming pre-season tour is a perfect opportunity to impress Jose Mourinho ahead of the new season.

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