Pundit claims Man Utd man should never be more than squad player

Date published: Friday 21st February 2020 8:28

Owen Hargreaves believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be foolish to lean too much on one Manchester United star in the years ahead, claiming he should never be considered anything other than a squad player at Old Trafford.

With injuries sustained by Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay, Solskjaer has been forced to call upon Andreas Pereira perhaps more than he’d have expected to this season, the Belgium-born midfielder on Thursday night making his 35th appearance of the campaign for the club – by far his most successful in United colours so far.

But after witnessing his display in Thursday’s 1-1 Europa League Round-of-32 first-leg draw at Club Brugge, Hargreaves is adamant the player is not of the quality United need to elevate themselves back among the elite of the English game.

“He’s had the second most appearances for Manchester United this season,” Hargreaves said on BT Sport.

“He shouldn’t be in the position he’s in right now because Manchester United really in the past have always had players, you think of Paul Scholes and Roy Keane.

“Right now the load is being put on these young guys and [Marcus] Rashford and [Anthony] Martial and Mason Greenwood and Pereira.

“And really, they’re going to be really good squad players for Manchester United but if Manchester United want to win the Champions League and win the Premier League, I think Pereira is going to be a good squad player.”

Hargreaves continued: “He’s played multiple positions this season. He spoke about goals there [in his interview] but I think he’s only got one [this season].

“At times he’s played as a 10, at times he’s played wide, today he’s almost playing as a sitter.



“I think it’s difficult for any young player coming into a team that’s struggling playing multiple positions.

“So I think he’s done well, he’s had a breakthrough season but to expect him to get 15 goals, that’s unrealistic right now.”

The signing of Bruno Fernandes could limit Pereira’s game time going forwards, but the one-time capped Brazil international reckons the Portuguese star will actually aid his own game.

“It helps me, it helps the other midfielders and it’s important for the team,” Pereira said earlier this week.

“I’m happy I’ve played a lot of games this season and the manager has faith in me, it’s down to me to show it on the pitch and make sure I play more games this season.”

On the subject of Fernandes, Jaap Stam has listed five reasons why the midfielder compares so favourably to United legend Paul Scholes.


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