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‘Pereira no Scholes & only a squad player at Man Utd’ – Red Devils need better to compete, says Hargreaves

The former midfielder feels there is a role for the academy graduate at Old Trafford, but admits greater quality is required to fill a starting berth

Andreas Pereira is no Paul Scholes or Roy Keane, says Owen Hargreaves, with the Red Devils told they need better than a “squad player” in the middle of the park if they are to be competitive.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has displayed considerable faith in academy graduates this season.

Pereira is among those he knows well from a previous spell working within the youth system at Old Trafford.

Injuries have also forced his hand at times, with the likes of Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay taking in untimely spells on the sidelines.

Pereira has figured on 35 occasions as a result, with the most recent of his appearances coming in a 1-1 Europa League draw with Club Brugge.

Hargreaves believes the 24-year-old is seeing too much football, especially when used out of position, and further reinforcements are considered to be necessary in order to raise the collective standard.

The former United star told BT Sport of Brazil international Pereira: “He’s had the second most appearances for Manchester United this season.

“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.

“He’s played multiple positions this season. He has spoken about goals but I think he’s only got one [this season].

“At times he’s played as a 10, at times he’s played wide, [against Brugges] 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.”

United were able to bolster their ranks in the engine room during the January transfer window.

The arrival of Bruno Fernandes, along with the return from injury of other key men, is likely to nudge Pereira down the pecking order and out of Solskjaer’s starting XI.

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