Teden Mengi was not the only additional face in Manchester United training on Monday.
He was joined by once highly rated goalkeeper Joel Pereira, who approaching a pivotal stage in his career.
Pereira posted an image and declared himself ‘Happy to be back’, in his first return to Carrington since August.
He was welcomed back by teammate and pal David de Gea, who posted ‘Gato is back’, with a fire emoji.
Pereira has been on loan at Hearts, and this has now come to an end, with the Scottish season cancelled.
His side were relegated, a harsh decision in the eyes of some north of the border, sitting four points adrift at the bottom with eight games to go.
A disappointing season
Pereira was once seen as United’s heir to David de Gea, but he could not dislodge Sergio Romero from the number two spot.
He has been sent out on loan spells, and since been overtaken by Dean Henderson.
Pereira’s recent loan spells have come at Vitor Guimares in Portugal, KV Kortijk in Belgium, and most recently with Hearts. He hasn’t been able to really shine in any of them.
Despite a promising start with Hearts in which he was a penalty shootout hero against Aberdeen in the cup in September, Pereira began to make mistakes which lost the support of fans, and then his manager.
While stationed behind a poor defence in a struggling team, Pereira ended up being viewed as more of an additional problem than a help, as he seemed to lose his confidence and concede shots which should have been straightforward saves.
He was dropped for Hearts’ final four league games before the season came to a halt.
What is next for him?
Pereira at present is just back at United to make up the numbers and essentially keep active.
The January signing of Nathan Bishop from Southend United shows United are already exploring other avenues to back up De Gea, in addition to Dean Henderson, while Sergio Romero is also still here and ready when needed.
The loan was a good challenge for Pereira, and he also got to play in a cup semi-final.
His future does not appear to be at United though, even if it feels like ‘home’ for him.
At 23, he is under contract at United for another year, and it is likely United will attempt to sell him this summer while we can.
If that’s not possible, another short-term loan could be arranged, with an option-to-buy in January if his club are impressed. If not, then he will likely leave on loan next summer.
It is hard to see him turning his fortunes around at United, where the standard and competition for places is just too high.
For now though, he should enjoy being a part of it, and helping out in training where he can.
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