Andreas Pereira’s challenge at Manchester United was laid bare by his omission from the squad against City.
Even with Paul Pogba out injured, Pereira could not even make United’s bench.
Jose Mourinho went with a midfielder of Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic and Marouane Fellaini.
Fred and Juan Mata were on the bench, with Pereira sitting in the stands. For a midfielder who began the season in United’s first choice XI, its a worrying scenario.
Pereira saw what can happen when he is selected for United. He was quickly called into the Brazil international squad in September.
This invitation has since been revoked for Brazil’s subsequent squads due to his lack of game time.
Pereira impressed on loan at Valencia last season and there was hope that he could finally transition into the first team.
Mourinho appeared to blame him for United’s loss to Brighton in August, hauling him off and he has not started a game since. The 22-year-old has just 158 minutes of action to his name all season.
There will be a busy fixture list between now and January and Pereira will hope to play his part. His most recent appearance was as a late substitute against Chelsea.
Pereira is sixth choice at present, potentially seventh if Mourinho judges him to be below Scott McTominay in the pecking order.
If Pereira’s playing time stays the same, or declines further, the young talent will have to look for another exit in January. Preferably another loan move.