Joel Pereira is one of Manchester United’s top prospects between the posts. But the Portuguese shot-stopper will have to earn his chance playing elsewhere. Again.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper has secured a season-long loan move to Scottish Premier League side Hearts, where he will work with manager Craig Levein. Levein has been an important part of Demi Mitchell’s development, and the expectation is that he can do wonders with Pereira as well.
It is the fifth loan move of Pereira’s career. He previously had loan spells at Rochdale, Belenenses, Vitoria Setubal and Kortrijk. The expectation is that Pereira can gain first-team football on a regular basis to compete for a senior-squad role in 2020.
Moving away from Old Trafford was the right thing to do
Pereira saw action for Manchester United in pre-season and looked quite sharp. He kept back-to-back clean sheets against Perth Glory and Leeds United. However, staying at Old Trafford wouldn’t have been beneficial for him.
With David De Gea entrenched as the starting goalkeeper and with two experienced back-ups in Sergio Romero and Lee Grant, Pereira’s best bet would have been to become the fourth goalkeeper on the 2019-20 squad. Meanwhile, moving to Hearts will allow him to play and continue his development. That’s all he needs to do to become a better player. After all, Pereira is only 23 years old. He has all the time in the world to continue improving.
The latest deal means United now have four keepers out on loan. Prior to Pereira, Alex Fojticek (Stalybridge Celtic), Dean Henderson (Sheffield United) and Kieran O’Hara (Burton Albion) agreed to leave Old Trafford on a temporary basis.