Manchester United are currently struggling to find the net, averaging just 1.31 goals per game this season ‒ their lowest in Premier League history.
Despite having some world-class players, they have failed to break down many defences, and a little bit of cutting edge creativity could be exactly what they need.
With someone like Andreas Pereira coming through the ranks at Old Trafford, the future may not be so bleak when it comes to getting goals, with the promising youngster specialising in attacking positions.
Here we take a closer look at him…
What position does he play?
As a young United player keen to take up any position in the first-team, the Belgian-born Brazilian has made himself quite versatile across the midfield. Originally a number 10, sitting just behind the striker when he first joined the club, he has displayed how comfortable he is across the middle, playing centrally and on either wing, creating chances with an impressive delivery and a probing eye for goal.
When did he make a name for himself?
Peirera first caught the attention of numerous big clubs in 2011 when he impressed onlookers playing for PSV Eindhoven at the Manchester United Premier Cup, a global youth tournament established by Nike. Sir Alex Ferguson himself personally visited the young star to convince him to sign on for United, and he joined the English side when he turned 16. He has since been working his way through the Red Devils’ academy and has recently started regularly appearing as a first-team squad member on match days, scoring his first goal from a free-kick against Ipswich in the Capital One Cup.
How far can he go?
If Sir Alex Ferguson makes a personal visit to convince you to sign for Manchester United, you know you have something special. The Belgian-born Brazilian attacker is viewed as one of the brightest prospects emerging from United’s Academy in a long time and his progress to the first-team is another step in the right direction. Still only 19, there is plenty of time for him to continue his positive progress, and with the potential he possesses he could become an important member in years to come.
What are his best attributes?
The teenager is competent on the ball, comfortable under pressure and someone with keen attacking flare and ingenuity to cut open defences with tricky movement and skills. He has impressed with his excellent free-kick taking ability, as shown against the Tractor Boys. His technical skill and useful versatility are also attractive attributes for Van Gaal’s United side, especially with a current lack of goals and a persistently long injury list throughout the squad.
What could hold him back?
Like many young stars with a lot of technical ability, at the start of their careers with a big team, and without a long run of match time, when they do get a chance they can have short bursts of brilliance followed by a frustrating lack of impact on the game. Consistency is key, but that will surely come when he manages to get a good run in the side and becomes completely comfortable with life in the Premier League at the top level.