Manchester United’s pre-season tour kicks off this weekend, with Jose Mourinho’s men taking on the LA Galaxy. The match will be the first of seven official friendlies, before the Red Devils head to Macedonia to take on Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.
Ahead of proceedings getting underway, the Manchester United manager met the media. To our surprise, he gave some early team news regarding who’ll start in goal for the first few games of the tour and it seems the gaffer has it all planned out.
He confirmed that Romero will not play in the first match, with David de Gea and Joel Pereira playing a half each. Then in the second game, it’ll be De Gea who sits out, and finally, the third match it’ll be Pereira’s turn to watch on from the stands.
“The first match [against LA Galaxy], Romero does not play,” Mourinho told MUTV, as per the Manchester Evening News. “We play David for 45 and the kid [Pereira] for 45.”
“In the second match [versus Real Salt Lake], David does not play. We play the kid [Pereira] for 45 and Romero for 45. The third match against Man City, we don’t play Joel. We will play David for 45 and Romero for 45.”
Pereira is a talented young man, and it seems Mourinho has an awful lot of confidence in him. So-much-so, that he was handed his full debut on the final day of the season against Crystal Palace – and for someone who is just 21, he handled himself brilliantly.
You also have to remember that this comes just days after the Portuguese man put pen to paper on a new long-term contract at the Theatre of Dreams, and you get the feeling that he could well be the long-term replacement for David de Gea if he keeps progressing and developing at such a rapid rate.
It also makes a lot of sense to play our two, most senior keepers in the biggest game of the three against Manchester City. Although it is only a friendly, it’s always lovely to get one over on your local rivals, and that is probably the main reasoning behind Mourinho’s thinking.