United's 'next Januzaj' takes another big step toward first-team call-up

Once billed as the 'next Adnan Januzaj', Manchester United youth star promoted from Under-18 team to U21s.

A core member of the group that won the Barclays Elite Group trophy last year, which included a now senior-level Adnan Januzaj, Andreas Pereira - also a preciously-gifted wonderkid of Belgium lineage - is taking all the steps necessary to follow his former youth-level team-mate all the way into David Moyes' first-team at Manchester United.

An attack-minded midfielder with an eye for goal from dead ball situations, Pereira was recently featured in Inside United magazine, spoke of his fondness for Januzaj, while also discussing the commendation he has received from Under-21 coach Warren Joyce, who has marveled at the teenager since featuring regularly for the team following his permanent promotion from the U18 squad.

Should Pereira excel in the U21s as easily as he had done for the U18s then there would be no other level of football to prove himself in before a promotion to the senior squad to perhaps feature steadily in a pre-season tournament, or even in a cameo role in a cup game next season.

On the adaptions he has made to ensure his performances at a tougher competition-level of football remain as strong as they were when he was campaigning at his age-group (he only recently turned 18), Pereira said: "You have to change the way you train and work harder every day. I feel you must try to develop every single day if you want to get into the first team and I realise you have to work very hard.

"I think a lot of people believe being a footballer is easy - if you can kick a ball, it's okay. But it is very hard work - not only on the pitch but off the pitch as well."

With a professionalism that seemingly belies his tender years and with a talent to match, it may not be long before Pereira is promoted once more…

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