Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa could form a terrifying duo at Elland Road by signing Matheus Pereira from West Brom this summer.
Reports from the Daily Express had claimed that the Whites are among the clubs interested in signing the 1.75m (5 foot 9) Brazilian in the summer transfer window, although it’s suggested they are likely to face significant competition from the likes of RB Leipzig and Leicester.
Speaking to Football Insider, Kevin Phillips has thrown his backing behind a potential Leeds move for the talented playmaker. The 47-year-old said: “I think it (signing Pereira) would suit their style. Leeds are an exciting, free-flowing team, you can express yourself in that side. We’ve seen that with players like Raphinha and Jack Harrison this year, that they can just go and play with freedom.”
Pereira enjoyed an impressive Premier League campaign, scoring 11 goals and providing a further six assists in the division; and with his directness and creativity, he could form part of a devastating attacking duo along with Raphinha.
After a particularly impressive display earlier this year, former Spurs midfielder Jermain Jenas said of the £17m-rated ace: “He’s just silky. When he’s on it, he’s just got that lovely left-foot, (tucked) his penalty away, the delivery into the box for set-pieces was brilliant, and he wanted to showcase his skills.”
Meanwhile, former Leeds striker Noel Whelan has talked up the prospect of Pereira joining Raphinha at Elland Road, saying: “It is a mouth-watering prospect. We missed out on certain players last season, and this is a player that excites everybody. I would definitely take him all day long.
“He’s a fantastic player, he’s great on the ball, he can turn people inside out. Pereira’s another option we can use right across that front three and maybe in a number 10 role as well. He’s the right age and he’s the sort of player we should be looking at. Imagine, if you put him alongside Raphinha, Rodrigo, Harrison etc, that’s pretty formidable.”
Pereira’s average of two shots and 1.8 key passes per game in the Premier League last season was only a touch lower than Raphinha (2.2 and 2.1), while he was actually fouled significantly more times than his Brazilian counterpart (1.6 to one).
If teams decide to double up on Raphinha next season to try and wreak havoc, then they’ll have to think again if Pereira is on board, with the Baggies ace equally capable of creating a moment of magic.
Bielsa could have a “mouth-watering” duo on his hands with a move for a “genius” like Pereira this summer.