Andreas Pereira continued to impress during his loan spell at Valencia with a superb assist from the bench during his side’s 3-0 win over Leganes in La Liga.
The Brazilian, despite being largely consigned to a role off the bench, has made his mark at the Mestalla since arriving in September, netting a superb goal against Real Betis and claiming an assist against Alaves in recent weeks.
Manchester United have been watching the youngster closely and have informed him of the possibility of a early return in January – as part of a clause on his contract – but Pereira has voiced his desire to see out the entire season in Spain.
And Pereira, just six minutes after coming on against an in-form Leganes side, provided a perfect cross for Rodrigo to head home Valencia’s second with 20 minutes left.
The 21-year-old may have only made two starts for Valencia over October but he is emerging as an important asset under Marcelino.
Driving the likes of Carlos Soler, Rodrigo, Gonzalo Guedes out of the starting XI is proving to be difficult, granted, with the aforementioned trio dazzling – and surprising – Spanish football with an endless stream of fluid, quick attacking displays.
But Pereira has started to establish himself as a crucial option late on, capable of taking advantage of tired legs with his verve on the ball and precision from set-pieces.
He may not be central to Valencia’s rip-roaring attacking mould but that doesn’t stop him from being an essential constituent part, and supporters will hope to see him progress further as the season goes on.