By Football Whispers
During Manchester United’s International Champions Cup campaign a number of young players were given the opportunity to shine in José Mourinho's side. Several made their mark but none more so than midfielder Andreas Pereira.
The 22-year-old was one of the standout players in United’s matches against AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid, three of the most successful sides in European soccer. The highlight of his displays, however, was undoubtedly the spectacular free-kick he struck against the Red Devils’ Premier League rivals in Ann Arbor.
While fans have been hugely impressed by Pereira during the club’s tour of the United Stats, that goal against Liverpool and his composed displays in the Manchester United midfield won’t have surprised too many at the club.
He has long been tipped for a first-team role at Old Trafford since he joined from PSV Eindhoven as a teenager in 2014. The Belgian-born star, who represents Brazil at International level, has, so far, only made five appearances for United but he has enjoyed loan spells in La Liga with Valencia and Granada
Those experiences have served Pereira well and he now looks ready to make the next step in his career, as demonstrated at the International Champions Cup, the biggest summer tournament in club soccer.
Energetic, direct and excellent with the ball, he has the tools to impress in the Premier League for United.
Mourinho used Pereira at the base of his midfield against Real Madrid, a position which made the most of the youngster’s ability to pick up possession in deeper areas and dictate play. He produced several fine long passes which set up United attacks but was also confident to carry the ball forward and break through Los Blancos’ midfield.
"My best position now is as a number six," Pereira told The National after the game against Real. "Mr Mourinho put me there and he can see things that others can’t see. I’m happy as a six and will continue trying my best there."
He added: "The tour has been great for me and I’m very happy. I’m thankful that Mr Mourinho gave me these opportunities to show what I can do by letting me play so much in these games. I just want to continue showing him and the staff that I can play here at United.”
Having proven himself against some of the best in Europe the challenge for Pereira is to now assert himself in the Manchester United first team. Given the wealth of talent available to Mourinho, such as Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matić and new signing Fred, that will certainly not be an easy task.
However, he proved at the International Champions Cup he will be ready when called upon. And that will undoubtedly please Mourinho.