Earlier this week Manchester United confirmed that Andreas Pereira and Axel Tuanzebe have agreed new contracts with the club.
Pereira has been at the club for seven years, having been convinced to snub the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal when he was 15 by Sir Alex Ferguson, claiming it was his dream to play for United.
He’s made 35 appearances for the first team since, spending two seasons out on loan in La Liga, but has failed to hold down a regular place in the team. He’s been given opportunities by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but has failed to impress.
Yet he was still offered a new four year deal by the club, with the option of a further season, which could keep him at United until he’s 28.
Pereira has spoken at his delight over agreeing a new deal with the club and is likely as surprised as many of the fans that such belief has been shown in him.
I have spent so long in Manchester that I now regard the city and the club as my home and I’m extremely happy to continue my career here. The manager has shown great faith in me and I can’t wait to get this campaign started under him. We know that we all have to work hard and that started on day one of pre-season. I will be doing everything I can to help us perform the way we need to, this season and beyond. I also want to thank my family for the trust they have in me and God for the opportunity he has given me.
Solskjaer talked up the importance of having players who have graduated from the academy in the ranks, with attitude being valued by the manager possibly more than what the player has shown on the pitch.
Andreas is another player brought through our Academy that understands what it means to play for Manchester United. He came from another country but quickly understood the values of playing for this club and doesn’t take it for granted.
Andreas has become an important member of the squad with his energy and hard work in midfield. He works non-stop every day in training, has a great character and knows what he has to do to continue his development here. We all look forward to working with him in the season ahead.
Pereira’s current deal was set to expire this summer so there’s every chance United are tying him to a new deal just so they don’t lose him for free if he was to be sold next season.
We can hope that he realises his potential in a United shirt but at 23 you would have expected to see more signs of him being a top player by now. When he signed his last contract, Louis van Gaal claimed that the teenager had the makings of becoming an “integral part of the first team” but we haven’t seen any signs of that in the four years that followed our former manager’s praise.
Tuanzebe is another academy graduate who signed a new deal this week, which lasts for three years with the option of a fourth, and this offer makes more sense than Pereira.
The 21-year-old enjoyed a great season with Aston Villa, helping them secure promotion to the first team, and even earned himself a chant from their fans.
Tuanzebe has been at United since he was eight and has made eight appearances for the first team.
I have grown up at Manchester United and it has always been a big part of my life and my family’s life. I appreciate the trust that the club has in me and I want to repay that with my performances on the pitch. I know I have a lot of hard work and learning ahead of me but the experience I gained throughout last season puts me in good stead for the future ahead. I am determined to give everything and show everyone the player that I can be. I can’t wait for the tour to get started and to see what the upcoming season brings.
Solskjaer again spoke of this academy graduate’s attitude and characteristics that make him welcome at the club.
Axel is a great example of the type of player that has come through the Manchester United system. He is humble, hard-working, talented and a team player. He had a successful time on loan with Aston Villa and has gained a lot of experience from that spell, which ended in promotion to the Premier League. He will come on the pre-season tour with us which will help his development further.
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.