Brazilians never seem to have an easy route when it comes to playing for Manchester United. Barring Anderson, it could be argued that Old Trafford has never truly possessed that top quality and consistent Brazilian midfielder, despite the nation being blessed in this department of players. This is, of course, a reason behind why so many fans are desperate for Andreas Periera to be a success at the club.
Following his heavy involvement during pre-season and receiving a start in the first Premier League game of the season, Periera was being tipped by fans and pundits alike to be a key cog within United’s midfield three. Despite the early promises, this, however, has not been the case.
After being hauled off at half-time during the side’s lacklustre 3-1 defeat at Brighton, the midfielder has yet to start another league game, featuring in only the final 15 minutes against Wolves back in September since. The news surrounding Nemanja Matic’s injury has, however, left many fans wondering as to whether Jose Mourinho will start Periera at Stamford Bridge this Saturday. Will he be given a chance to impress?
A Different Dimension to Matic
If Matic was fit, there is surely no doubting that the Serbian would be given the nod ahead of Periera. However, if not and the Brazilian is selected in the starting line-up, this could force United to play more expansively against Chelsea.
Periera is certainly not an ‘orthodox’ choice when it comes to a Mourinho CDM. Instead of a robust style of play, the 22-year-old is much more agile on and off the ball, as he prefers to operate as more of a deep-lying playmaker. Through his distributional qualities and confidence in bringing the ball out from deep, Periera is very quick-witted when it comes to starting off attacks – an element within United’s current style of play that they are certainly lacking.
This more swift approach when in possession of the ball is certainly a reason behind why so many Red Devil fans are calling for the Brazilian to be put into the starting eleven, on a more consistent basis. It would undoubtedly be a bold choice to deploy Periera as the holding midfielder, but Mourinho’s men are in need of a win and he may just be the man to find spaces within an open-playing Chelsea side.
No Way Jose
As mentioned, Periera certainly does not fall underneath the category of a typical Mourinho’s holding midfielder. Looking back over the Portuguese’s managerial career, he has always emphasised in possessing a more vigorous CDM within his midfield trios, such as Claude Makelele, Esteban Cambiasso and even Matic himself.
This, therefore, bodes the obvious theory that Mourinho would prefer to deploy a more solid alternative in-front of his defence, particularly with Eden Hazard sniffing around the final third of the field. With other defensive options such as Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera available, we may see a more ‘trusting’ player be given that role against a confident looking Chelsea team.
Under Maurizio Sarri, the Blues operate in a very fluid and expansive manner, particularly through their midfield. Cutting off the little pockets in between the midfield and defence will be a pivotal factor behind frustrating Chelsea and one must, therefore, wonder whether Periera would be trusted with such a role.
Only time will tell to see whether or not Periera will be given another chance to impress. The selected starting eleven on Saturday could, however, be an indication towards the Brazilian’s future at the club. Many fans would love to see their academy product be given the opportunity to play but Mourinho may consider it too much of a gamble.