Perhaps it might be time to give up on Joel Pereira ever making the breakthrough at Manchester United.
Once billed as a potential challenger to David de Gea, he has slipped behind Dean Henderson in the pecking order to fourth choice at best, and is trending downwards.
His loan spell at Hearts has had a few highs and lows, most of the latter lately, and last night might have been rock bottom.
Hearts lost 3-2 at home to Kilmarnock, with Pereira conceding three goals in the first 50 minutes.
He was clearly at fault for the third and could have done better with the second.
Supporters of the Scottish side were not happy at all with his performance…
A tough moment
Pereira’s poor performance was acknowledged by his manager after the game, although he refused to blame him.
Daniel Stendel told the Edinburgh News: “Joel apologised in the changing room but it was not his fault that we lost the game.”
Ahead of the game, Pereira had said he was trying to work past the errors in his game.
He told the same paper: “Dealing with mistakes is part of the game, not just for goalkeepers, but for all football players. There are always things I can improve on. I know what they are and I’m working on them on a daily basis.”
Last night’s performance was not what he needed and it has only served to undermine any thin confidence fans had left in him.
Pereira lost his place in the Hearts team in December, but has since reclaimed it. But after last night’s howlers, for the third goal in particular, it is possible he gets dropped again.
One more year
Pereira can still bounce back from this but it will not be easy. Competition at United is tougher than ever, and new goalkeeper Nathan Bishop, 20, was signed last week.
The on loan stopper can point to the fact Hearts are a bad team, fighting relegation, but part of his job is to deal with that pressure.
He is getting regular playing time, but it’s not the success which will propel him into a crowded United picture.
Pereira has one more year on his contract until it expires in June 2021. At present it looks like there is little case or United to renew, which might prompt the club to try and sell him this summer.
He needs to show a big improvement at Hearts between now and the end of the season, providing he gets the opportunity.
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