Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera believes young teammates Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira will become “very” important players at Old Trafford over the coming years.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, the £29 million summer signing named Januzaj and Pereira as young players he expects to make an impact for the Red Devils in the future - and admits he was surprised how good the club’s academy is following his arrival from Athletic Bilbao.
"I didn't know how good the academy is here," Herrera confessed. "Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira are young players for Manchester United that are going to be very important players for many years."
Pereira likely to leave this summer
However, both players have endured frustrating seasons under United boss Louis van Gaal, and speculation is rife that at least one of them will leave this summer.
Pereira’s contract expires in June, and it’s been reported by Dutch website Voetbal International - via HLN journalist Kristof Terruer - that the Brazil Under-20 international has no desire to sign a new deal at Old Trafford.
PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord have both reportedly contacted the 19-year-old in the hope of luring him to the Eredivisie this summer.
French champions Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with the Belgium-born attacking midfielder who made his Manchester United first-team debut against MK Dons earlier this season.
Pereira: The new Paul Pogba?
Pereira has caught the eye in the club’s reserve side over the past couple of seasons and further enhanced his burgeoning reputation on Monday night by scoring for Manchester United’s Under-21 team against Sunderland.
But United are likely to lose Pereira this summer unless the youngster experiences a sudden change of heart between now and the end of the season.
Reds will fear Pereira may go on to follow in the footsteps of Paul Pogba, the France international who has established his status as one of the world’s best central midfielders since leaving Old Trafford in 2012.
Januzaj struggling this season
United have no such concerns with Januzaj after tying down the Belgium international to a five-year contract in 2013 - but the club’s current No. 11 has endured a difficult second season with the Red Devils.
Van Gaal has overlooked Januzaj for much of the campaign, leading to speculation that the talented winger would be loaned out for the second half of the 2014-15 campaign.
However, the United manager made it clear over Christmas that Januzaj would not be leaving Old Trafford in January. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach stayed true to his word.
Januzaj, 20, was handed starts against Leicester, West Ham and Burnley but failed to make a telling impact and subsequently found himself back on the subs’ bench for Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
Van Gaal must convince Pereira to stay
Van Gaal must do his utmost to ensure both players remain Manchester United players beyond this summer - but only a couple of appearances in the first team over the next three months is likely to convince Pereira that his development his best served at Old Trafford.
Will Manchester United regret losing Andreas Pereira? Is Adnan Januzaj overrated or the real deal? Have your say on both these questions in the comments below!
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