Loan Watch 2016-17: Andreas Pereira Joins Granada CF

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Andreas Pereira has joined Spanish side Granada on a season-long loan.

Despite interest from Premier League clubs, the Brazilian moves to Spain in search of first team football.

Not turning 21 until New Year’s Day, the midfielder has the chance to prove his worth going forward.

Manager Jose Mourinho has praised Pereira, and it would seem he does feature in the long-term plans of the Portuguese boss.

With number 10 his best position, it would have been difficult for the 20-year-old to be deployed in his favoured role.

Captain Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Jesse Lingard, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini could all play just behind the striker if required.

United also have the players to switch formations to either a 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, where a number 10 would not be needed.

This makes a loan move a sensible ideal, in a league he should thrive in.

Spain’s top flight, La Liga, represents a chance to flourish for the player who made his United debut as a substitute in March 2015, in a 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

Two months later, he penned a new deal, keeping him at the club until 2018 and secured the club’s Reserve Player of the Year award as the under-21s lifted the Premier League title.

That summer saw him play a part as Brazil finished runners-up in the under-20 World Cup, scoring in the final as Serbia triumphed 2-1.

He also impressed during United’s pre-season tour of America, and netted in the 3-1 victory over MLS outfit San Jose Earthquakes.

His first start came in September’s Capital One Cup tie against Ipswich Town, with Pereira scoring a free-kick in front of the Stretford End as his stock at Old Trafford continued to rise.

However, opportunities were few and far between, and he looked set for a loan move in January 2016.

This was denied by previous manager Louis van Gaal, who reportedly promised him game time in the second half of the season.

Despite the club contesting 30 fixtures across the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League between January and May, Van Gaal seemingly went against his word, utilising Pereira in just five of these matches.

This meant the majority of Pereira’s game time came for the under-21s, where highlights included scoring directly from a corner and running from the halfway line to net versus Tottenham Hotspur.

He also scored in the reverse fixture in the 3-2 victory which saw United retain their league crown, with manager Warren Joyce clearly having an impact, giving him the freedom to express himself in the middle of the park.

Perhaps a loan move to a Premier League side would have suited more so, but he has the chance to affirm Mourinho’s long-term plans which for now, include Pereira.

We wish him all the best in his temporary spell away from the club.

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