Ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup clash with Fulham, Erik ten Hag was keen to point out his admiration for Andreas Pereira‘s progress since departing Manchester.
The Brazilian international left United last summer in a deal worth up to £10m with add-ons to join West London side Fulham.
Since making a move, Pereira’s stellar performances have been a catalyst to Fulham’s successful season, which sees them sitting in 9th place thanks to Pereira’s three goals and six assists in all competitions.
Speaking ahead of the match, Ten Hag said, “Andreas Pereira is a really good player; I [have] known him already a long time; I had him in the youth team at PSV before he transferred to Manchester United.”
“I am really happy for him and that he is progressing that well. I think it was the right step for him as I think he has to play on a regular basis.”
When asked if he regretted allowing the Belgian-born midfielder to depart, he said adding, “he didn’t do it over several years at Manchester United, [but] then there comes the point where you have to switch, maybe to take a step back to progress in the future and I think he is doing a good job, that is quite obvious, as is Fulham. They are playing in a good way.”
Being a United player for over ten years, Pereira spent almost half of it on loan, with successful periods at Granada, Valencia, Lazio, and Flamengo.
Having been initially poached from the PSV Eindhoven set-up after impressing in the now-defunct Manchester United Premier Cup, Pereira was an instant hit in the United youth set-up and won the club’s reserves player of the year.
But despite Pereira’s past connection with Ten Hag at PSV Eindhoven, the midfielder was keen to start a new chapter in his career, having failed to leave his mark in the Manchester United first team.
Pereira recently revealed, “I didn’t speak with Ten Hag. I know him because I worked with him at PSV, but I was determined in my head, and maybe if I spoke with the manager again, I would stay. In my head, I was thinking, ‘I need to go, I need to feel confident and play’, and that’s what I did.”
The academy graduate is looking forward to returning to Manchester, saying, “I’ll have mixed emotions. It’s a difficult game, but I’m happy to play against Manchester United. It will be my first time back and feeling that atmosphere. I’ve never been there as a visitor, so that it will be something new.”
Despite ultimately not scoring the grade at Manchester United, Andreas Pereira is yet another impressive example in a long list of successful Manchester United graduates who have carved out a career at the highest level of the game, which the club is incredibly proud of.