The Brazilian international has struggled to establish himself in a Manchester United shirt despite spending the last seven years on the books at Old Trafford, enduring four loan spells
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Manchester United’sAndreas Pereira may have just given his flatlining United career a lifeline while away on loan at Brazilian outfit Flamengo – despite making just three appearances thus far.
Pereira was deemed surplus to requirements by United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but he was not an automatic starter for Flamengo either – at least, not in his natural, most familiar position.
The 25-year-old is traditionally an attacking midfielder, but Flamengo manager Renato Portaluppi had different plans and opted to deploy Pereira as one half of a defensive-minded central midfield duo, a stroke of tactical genius that has worked wonders.
Andreas Pereira is currently out on the fourth loan of his Man Utd career. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images) The Flamengo boss discussed the switch in a recent press conference, where he explained: “He’s versatile, he’s a player I talked to even before I arrived at Flamengo.
“He’s a player who has been tested in various positions for his quality. But he told me that he likes to play as a second defensive midfielder. So, this is where I’ve been putting him, in this position he’s been helping us, he’s been playing well.”
Portaluppi went on to highlight Pereira’s lesser-known defensive qualities, revealing: “He’s playing in his position, in the position he likes. He’s a player who knows how to defend, knows how to attack too, he has the quality to do so. That’s what I said, he is a player who is above average. Without a doubt, it was a great signing for Flamengo.”
Pereira’s newfound love of operating as a defensive midfielder will come as a surprise to many, especially as he revealed his preferred position was attacking midfield as recently as July of this year to Brazilian outlet TNT Sports.
“I’m a linking midfielder, a 10 shirt. I like having the ball at my feet, building the team and having the freedom to create. This is my place on the pitch.
Could Pereira save his Man Utd career as a defensive midfielder? Have your say here.
Andreas Pereira has re-established himself as a defensive midfielder while on loan at Flamengo (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images) “I’ve always worked for the team. With him (Solskjaer) I’ve played everywhere on the pitch and I’ve always done my best. He’s known me for many years and knows very well where I can do more. It’s up to him to give me the freedom to play in my position.”
However, it may just prove to be a stroke of luck for Pereira, given United’s desperate need for a defensive midfielder in that traditional ‘number six’ role.
Despite a summer of heavy spending on some of the best talent in Europe, many sections of the United faithful were disappointed that a defensive midfielder was not added to what is quickly becoming a rather bloated playing squad.
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