Red Thoughts: Andreas Pereira to Valencia – Is it a good move?

by Red Debate

This week, the Red Thoughts team discuss Andreas Pereira’s loan move to Valencia in La Liga and ask whether it’s a good call, or whether it would have been better to have him in United’s first-team squad this season.

Note – This piece was written before Pereira made his Valencia debut against Atletico Madrid on Saturday 9 September.

CARL: It’s a necessary call. I’d have liked to have seen him given some chances, but we have depth in that central midfield area and they all have their qualities and uses. You just can’t accommodate everyone.

JIM: He’s ready for the first team. Have him in and around the squad and rotate him with the other two on the wing.

DEAN: I understand the reasons, but I would have preferred United to have loaned him to another Premier League club, just like they have with Fosu-Mensah. I would have liked him to establish himself in the English league, and progress his football in the PL.

BETS: I’m concerned as to the role he’s going to play at Valencia, because they have a good playmaker in Dani Parejo. There were rumours that Barcelona had triggered Parejo’s €51m release clause as a “last resort” signing last week, so maybe Andreas was lined up to replace him if they had pounced … but the Barca move never materialized for Parejo. The Valencian press are saying Pereira has been brought in “to shore up the right side”, so it’s sounding like a right wing role for him. I suppose if he can adapt to that position, it opens up the possibility of his strengthening United’s right flank when he returns. But it does seem like an odd one.

Valencia are already looking a much better outfit this season than the disasters of the past couple of years. They have lost Nani to Lazio but have a promising young left winger in Santi Mina to take over there; they’ve also done an interesting loan swap with Inter, sending the really talented young right back/wing back Joao Cancelo  to Inter and receiving Kondogbia in return. Kondogbia has been to them what Matic has been to United so far, and the team are playing with confidence and got a good draw vs Real in the Bernabeu last week. Cancelo had been playing as RW, so I do think that is where Pereira will be taking over.

So this season, Pereira will be playing in a much better side than Granada, but he’ll be out of position, probably unless they get an injury to Parejo. Is that good for his future? It’s hard to tell, but I’m not entirely convinced. I do wonder whether the plan was for him to take Parejo’s role but then, like a lot of other transfers this window, Parejo’s never happened, so it’s become a bit of a botch job.

Personally, I would have much preferred to see him blooded at United in League Cup games, FA Cup games, etc. and in 20 minute cameos from the bench in the EPL, but I would rather he were at Valencia than have a year like Fosu-Mensah had last season, where he gets virtually no minutes and no chance to impress. I just hope at some point he gets to play in his more natural position.

DAN: I think its a great call, as long as he gets regular football. The lad needs at his age to be playing every week to progress his development, in the same way as Fosu-Mensah. If he plays weekly he will develop; it’s better than getting 20 mins here, 30 there and the odd cup game there. Plus, he has a call back clause in the loan deal, so if we need him, we can recall the lad. Winner winner chicken dinner!

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BETS: But on the right wing though? Is that the right thing for his development right now?

HEMOR: I understand the reason for the loan deal and I think it’s a good thing. Valencia is a good club to develop a player and La Liga is a good league. Pereira will get more playing time at Valencia than at United and he will hopefully improve a lot too. As for the right wing, Bets, I remember he played there once against Tottenham, he came in for Mata, and I think he also played there against Wolfsburg. I’m not sure whether he played there too at Granada.

CARL: And LVG played him on the right during preseason in his final Summer tour, he did well there.

DAN: I believe Periera has the ability to play in any of the 3 offensive positions behind a main striker, or as he showed in preseason, as a CM. It’s all part of his learning curve, I don’t think he would agree to go and play right wing if he wasn’t comfortable playing there.

DEAN: I heard he’s signed a contract extension.

HEMOR: It’s great that he’s signed an extension before going out on loan.

BETS:  As Dean suggests, though, wouldn’t Premier League have been better? I think Palace is going to be a perfect opportunity for Timbo. It was frustrating watching him on the tour, he seemed to have gone backwards, he was lunging in and his positional sense was poor. But he’s already making a good impression at Selhurst and did really well in his Holland debut as well.

I just get a bit frustrated that we’re maybe holding back the youngsters a little longer than needs be. If Timbo had been at a Palace a year ago, for example, I think he’d be more than ready for the first team now (or if he flopped, he could be moved along). WE HAVE LOST A YEAR!! Likewise Pereira. As Jim said, he’s probably ready now, and he’s getting to 22 I believe, so is he going to have to get to 23 before he gets to compete here? I understand the argument that there are too many good players in his position, but I think he may be already as good as most of them. He’s definitely our best set piece taker.

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Look, this is the club of the Busby babes, the Class of 92, Busby’s famous saying “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough”. We all panicked when Paul Ince was sold and Scholes was given his place. What a joke that seems now.

The same applies to the youth setup, we have some potential superstars in the U18s in Angel Gomes and Tatith Chong. Why not move them up to the U23s now? Is it right to hold them back another year? Messi was 17 when he made his Barca debut. Rooney was 16 at Everton, Ronaldo 17 at Sporting. I’m not saying Gomes and Chong are at their level, but give them a bigger challenge at an earlier age, and they might prove to be. Play them in the reserves/U23s, and if they do well, give them a game in the League Cup. Ronaldo played U16s, U17s, U18s, B-team, reserves and first team all in the same season.

RICK: The loan deal for Pereira is ideal for him. He’s gone to a better club than last year so he can show better what he’s capable of doing with better players around him, so he won’t have much pressure to defend all the time. He gets regular football week in, week out to continue his growth, whereas at United he wouldn’t get that regular football because, let’s face it, at the moment our midfield trio is Pogba, Matic and Mkhi. Then Herrera will provide rotation.

It’s great if we have a recall option in his loan deal which allows us to recall him in the second part of the season if necessary. In fact it would be great with the fixture congestion if we recalled him after Christmas to then help us go all out on multiple fronts for trophies, as our squad will be stretched just like last year.

But overall, it’s a great loan deal and a chance for him to get more minutes under his belt in a competitive league. Hopefully then next season he can break into the team, if he doesn’t come back in January, that is.

BETS: We are all being very positive about it, but at 22 the lad shouldn’t be playing right wing for a mid table La Liga side should he? No offence to McTominay, but he’s in our Champions League squad, and Pereira isn’t going to get any European experience. It doesn’t seem right to me.

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