“If you’re good enough, you’re old enough” These are the words of Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton. A man who is a supporter of the youth system at Manchester. A system that has produced world class talents such as Paul Scholes and George Best.
The system some believe, reached its peak when it produced some of the finest players of their generation in an exceptionally small space of time. These players were Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, the Neville brothers and Nicky Butt. These famous graduates were crowned the Class of 92′ as they lead Manchester United to title after title and thus helped lay the foundations for where we are today, as a worldwide footballing powerhouse.
As years have gone by, the frequency of world class talent coming through the academy doors has reduced. However the doom and gloom for those willing to break through into the first team and cement a spot there was lifted when U21 star, Adnan Januzaj, made world headlines by scoring two sublime goals on his debut against Sunderland. Not only was it a reminder for world football that Manchester United’s academy is well, but it also served as a shining light of hope for other academy hopefuls that “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough”. He in the process has made himself a frequent fixture in the Manchester United Starting line-up. His introduction not only excited fans like myself, but it also made us wonder, Who’s Next?
Andreas Pereira. He is a Brazilian born 18 year old CAM that joined us from PSV Eindhoven at the tender age of 16 however confirmed his departure when he was just 15! His signature was one Sir Alex fought for and he successfully completed it on 01 July 2012. On joining United he said, “Other British clubs were interested. I thought about it, but Manchester United is a dream club for me. I have been a few times to Manchester United to have a look. I got a tour and spoke with Sir Alex Ferguson. Being a 15-year-old and being able to talk with him is great!”
The attacking midfielder has been a fixture in the U21’s this season and has shown as an 18 year old some fantastic abilities that could see him be moulded into a world class midfielder. He is naturally in the Scholes mould. Like Scholes he has remarkable technical ability for his age. It surpasses those of most in the U21 setup. One of his strongest aspects of his game is his touch and ball control. His ability to pluck the ball out of the year is a stark reminder of a young Berbatov.
His dribbling is also a strong point, however like his team mate Zaha he can sometimes overstep the mark sometimes. However this is to be expected of a young talent who is trying his best to break into the first team. One aspect of his game that really does differentiate him from the crowd is his passing. It is reminiscent of a young Xavi. He is able to spot a pass anywhere across the pitch and more often than not, deliver it. His vision and pass accuracy are much coveted.
All these qualities make him an influential part of whichever game he plays. He is able to put his own mark on nearly any game he plays. Not only can he do this through his qualities during a fast flowing game, he can also do it from a dead ball. Did I mention his spectacular long shot and set piece ability? One of my favourtie goals of his was a thirty yard screamer he scored against Burnley U18’s.
The young starlet also captained Manchester United as they won the Milk Cup in which he lead through example. winning the Player of the Tournament award. The young man thus has huge expectation at Manchester United and has the ability to fulfill the large void left vacant when Roy Keane’s and Paul Scholes’s careers at Old Trafford ended.
I for one wish him the best of luck and if his progress continues the way it is, I can see him making his first appearances in the first team in the next couple of seasons. He is very much a tantalizing future prospect that we should be keeping our eyes on. Good Luck Andreas!
You can follow Rafae Qazi’s Man Utd Blog here.
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