Joel Pereira will spend the 2018/19 season on loan away from Manchester United but is determined to come back stronger and ready to fight for his place.
The Reds’ third goalkeeper, behind David De Gea and Sergio Romero, has earned consistent praise over the last two years from Jose Mourinho, who feels he could be a future Portugal number one.
Pereira played the second half of United’s International Champions Cup win over AC Milan in California, making a key save from Fabio Borini in normal time, with the game level at 1-1, before starring in the resulting penalty shootout, which the Reds won 9-8.
Pereira explains penalty heroicsVideo
After the game, the 22-year-old confirmed he’d agreed with the manager that he would gain further experience away from Old Trafford during the coming campaign, having previously enjoyed loan spells at Rochdale and Belenenses in his homeland.
“I’ve been back at United for the last 18 months and the manager showed good faith in me, good trust,” he told MUTV.
“I can’t be thankful enough. He wants me to play and I think it’s the right thing for me too, so we’ll see in the next week where I will spend next season.
“But obviously what I want is to come back mentally stronger and with more experience, more games under my belt, and prove to the manager that the faith he’s put in me is right.”
Pereira kept out three Milan spot-kicks at the StubHub Center and revealed he has had plenty of practice thanks to his colleagues.
“I always stay after training doing finishing with the boys,” he said.
“I like to do some bets with them on penalties – a shirt or a dinner or something – so we practise a lot and today worked pretty well for me.
“As a goalkeeper, when it’s a penalty shootout, it depends on you. Obviously, your players have to score but if you make a save and do well, it’s a double celebration.”