Valencia have signed Andreas Pereira on loan from Manchester United for the rest of the 2017-18 season, the La Liga club confirmed on Friday.
Los Che posted the following snap of the forward in his new club colours on Twitter:
Valencia CF English @valenciacf_en
📝 Official Statement I #SomPereira 👉 https://t.co/MJv82aq4W0 https://t.co/H21DP9aRx22017-9-1 21:48:12
United released their own bulletin confirming the 21-year-old had moved on on a temporary basis. "Everybody at Manchester United wishes Andreas good luck at Valencia this season," it concluded.
The Brazil youth international was part of the United squad throughout pre-season, and with no deal done leading into the final day of the summer transfer window for Spanish clubs, he looked poised to be staying put.
Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News was surprised the Red Devils opted to let him move on:
Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst
Not convinced it's the right move. Would've got minutes but too impatient & another La Liga yr hardly ideal preparation for Premier League.2017-9-1 22:20:08
ESPN FC's Rob Dawson suggested manager Jose Mourinho would be torn on this decision, though added that Pereira was set to extend his contract at United:
Rob Dawson @RobDawsonESPN
Mourinho will be disappointed Pereira has decided to go to Valencia. One plus, United triggered one-year contract extension before he went.2017-9-2 07:49:52
Pereira is a big talent. While he's only made five senior appearances at Old Trafford, it's clear he's rated highly by those at the club.
Last season he showcased that ability for Granada on loan. Although the team eventually suffered relegation, Pereira was a consistent bright spark, giving the club's supporters something to enjoy in what was an otherwise disappointing season.
Per Squawka Football, the United man outstripped other players of his age in the Spanish top flight in terms of his creative output:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Andreas Pereira created more chances in LaLiga last season (52) than any other U23 player. 🔥 Another chance to repeat it with Valencia. 🦇 https://t.co/1O3L1bBLms2017-9-1 21:54:00
Though Pereira would have been another option for the Red Devils in the final third, the decision to loan him out seems the most sensible one at this point.
With players like Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford available in attacking midfield positions, it'd take an injury crisis before Pereira was called upon. At Valencia, he'll be getting consistent minutes for a big club trying to establish itself back at the top end of Spanish football.
Under new manager Marcelino this Valencia team should thrive, and they have showcased encouraging signs early in the 2017-18 campaign. It'll be fascinating to see what kind of role Pereira has to play in his plans in the months to come.