Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira should never be more than a squad player for the Red Devils, says Owen Hargreaves. Pereira made his 35th appearance of the season on Thursday in the Europa League last-32 first leg away at Club Brugge. The midfielder has been utilised in a number of roles by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and has benefitted from the long-term injuries suffered by Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.
But Hargreaves believes too much has been put on the Brazilian’s shoulders this season, as well as a number of other young players in the squad.
The pundit claims, if United want to win major honours, they cannot rely on the likes of Pereira to be regular starters.
“He’s had the second most appearances for Manchester United this season,” Hargreaves said on BT Sport.
“He shouldn’t be in the position he’s in right now because Manchester United really in the past have always had players, you think of Paul Scholes and Roy Keane.
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“Right now the load is being put on these young guys and [Marcus] Rashford and [Anthony] Martial and Mason Greenwood and Pereira.
“And really, they’re going to be really good squad players for Manchester United but if Manchester United want to win the Champions League and win the Premier League, I think Pereira is going to be a good squad player.
“He’s played multiple positions this season. He spoke about goals there [in his interview] but I think he’s only got one [this season].
“At times he’s played as a 10, at times he’s played wide, today he’s almost playing as a sitter.
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“I think it’s difficult for any young player coming into a team that’s struggling playing multiple positions.
“So I think he’s done well, he’s had a breakthrough season but to expect him to get 15 goals, that’s unrealistic right now.”
Pereira’s future first-team chances may be harmed by after the arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January.
Portugal international Fernandes joined United from Sporting Lisbon for an initial fee of £46.6million.
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But Pereira insists having Fernandes in the squad will help him and his other midfield team-mates.
“It helps me, it helps the other midfielders and it’s important for the team,” Pereira said earlier this week.
“I’m happy I’ve played a lot of games this season and the manager has faith in me, it’s down to me to show it on the pitch and make sure I play more games this season.”
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