Joel Pereira makes good first impression on Hearts debut
Manchester United loanee Joel Pereira made a good first impression on his Hearts debut on Friday night.
Pereira, 23, sealed a move on loan to Hearts just days earlier, and went straight into the starting line up.
Friday’s fixture away at Motherwell on a cold evening pouring with rain was a world away from playing for United in Australia’s heat in pre-season three weeks earlier.
Pereira made the best of the uncomfortable conditions and helped Hearts to a 2-1 victory.
First hand look
We spoke to Scottish football expert Ben Banks of Not The Old Firm about Pereira’s debut.
He said: “Overall Pereira turned in an assured performance on his Hearts debut against Motherwell.
“In what were monsoon conditions at Fir Park, the Portuguese stopper showed he has the potential to be a decent keeper for the Jambos this season.
“The Well had five shots on target but they didn’t really test the on-loan United keeper. When called into action though he was alert to any danger that came his way.
“He made a nervy start to the game but grew into it as the minutes rolled on. He parried an early shot from Jermain Hylton that he should have dealt with easily, but that was his only real shaky moment.
“That relationship between him and the defence still needs to be worked on, but he’s only been there a matter of days, so that’ll come.
“His kicking was strong and handling was decent. He’ll have tougher challenges but it was a steady debut for Pereira.”
A clean sheet would have been nice but Pereira’s performance was clearly a positive for Hearts, who had begun the season with goalkeeper troubles.
Pereira clearly has potential and games against Celtic and Rangers will provide a much sterner test.
After one game, its so far so good. Pereira is hoping this season will see his reputation rise and him climb up the Old Trafford pecking order.
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