The January transfer window is now officially open, and clubs up and down the country are free to make moves from now until the end of the month. Manchester United are already looking quite active in the market, and there has already been a couple of moves made in the goalkeeping department.
The first sees talented Englishman Sam Johnstone move to Aston Villa on loan until the end of the season, the club have confirmed on their official website.
Johnstone, now 23, signed a new Manchester United contract in October, and will relish the opportunity to go and get some first-team minutes whilst playing for Villa in the Championship. It will be a good opportunity for him, and it is by far the biggest team he has gone out on loan with – following moves at the likes of Scunthorpe United, Doncaster Rovers and Preston North End.
Upon signing for the Villa on a short-term deal, Johnstone said:
“I’m really pleased to have joined Aston Villa – it’s a massive club.
“It’s an opportunity I jumped at, it’s one you simply can’t turn down. I’m delighted to be here and I can’t wait to work with Steve Bruce. I’ve heard very good things about the manager.”
The second piece of business sees 20-year-old Joel Pereira return to Manchester United, you’d imagine to come in as the third-choice keeper after Sam Johnstone has left.
Pereira was back in his home country of Portugal playing for Belenenses, and by all accounts, he has impressed. In the ten games he played in, the youngster kept four clean sheets which is obviously a brilliant record.
He’s now back at Old Trafford and training with the likes of David de Gea and Sergio Romero day in, day out, which can only be a positive thing for the Portuguese shot-stopper.
He also had a few words to say upon his return:
“I’d like to thank everyone at Belenenses who helped me to develop my game and become a better player.
“From the president to the coaches, all my teammates, I really appreciate the opportunity that was given to me. It was a great experience to be able to play for such a traditional club from the Portuguese league and be capable of helping the team to get good results.
“As I’m a Manchester United player, I need to do what my club asks and I’m anxious to return to Manchester and keep working hard with my team-mates.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 5, 2017