Andreas Pereira's spell out wide at United is doing him no favours

Andreas Pereira’s versatility has been useful to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer so far this season, but it has not really helped Manchester United much.

Nor is it aiding Pereira himself, who is failing to shine in an unfamiliar right wing role.

There are fine margins at United, and had Juan Mata converted his impressive cross against West Ham then perhaps the outlook on Pereira’s spell at the position would be more encouraging.

Yet this was the only chance he created all game, and he completed just 28 passes all game. Fred completed 27, and he came on with 20 minutes to go.

Pereira’s best position is as an attacking midfielder, centrally, and he has not had the chance to shine there so far this season.


The chance to play him there was probably against Crystal Palace at home, when he was an unused substitute. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prefers Jesse Lingard.

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Are any central chances coming soon?

This week against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup might be a moment for United to play Pereira in attacking midfield, but it is more probable that young wonderkid Angel Gomes gets another chance.

Gomes showed promise against Astana and he needs the game time even more than Pereira.

With Fred coming back into first team contention and James Garner set to get a chance this week too, competition for places in midfield will intensify.

If Pereira does play, it is more likely to be on the right, where he can perhaps try to continue to develop his game.

The problem is Pereira is not a winger, this is clear when he is not in possession. He drifts inside to a central position and does not give the team width.

Technique rather than pace is his top asset, meaning that while he can cross the ball well, he is one-dimensional as a winger.

Solskjaer is hoping he will develop as a player there and grow into the role, but it’s not really clicking. Perhaps it might, but the early signs are not promising.

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Will selflessness help or hurt?

In pre-season Pereira was one of United’s brightest midfielders. He blossomed in a central role and appeared to relish the extra responsibility, linking up well with Anthony Martial.

Getting game time out wide must be preferable to Pereira than just sitting in the stands. Yet in the process, his reputation as a United player is taking a battering while he flounders in an unfamiliar position.

He is trying to help the team out, and this won’t go unnoticed by his boss. At some stage if it does not work, Solskjaer will have to give him another chance in the centre, and will reflect that Pereira has earned it.

Pereira’s stint is actually doing United a favour even though its not working. It is highlighting the importance of the position and showing Solskjaer that he cannot bodge it with makeshift solutions. The club have to buy.

It’s true that Pereira should only be judged properly on a run of games centrally. Even just give him one game in the Europa League in a central attacking midfield role and judge that.

Over the top criticism at the moment is unjustified. What it does mean for the 23-year-old is that his margin for error is decreasing.

Pressure is growing on Pereira to prove himself, and with his spell out wide not working, it is an avenue for him which will likely soon be put to bed.

New signings could arrive as soon as January, if not next summer, and time is running out for Pereira to show he can be more than just a squad player at Old Trafford.

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