West Brom midfielder Matheus Pereira is a wanted man this summer after an impressive year in the Premier League last season.
The Brazilian scored 11 goals and picked up six assists in 33 top flight appearances despite competing in a struggling team – and is an impressive total considering this was the 25-year-old’s first campaign in the top division of English football.
This has prompted many sides including Leeds United, Leicester City, West Ham United and German side RB Leipzig to take a strong interest in Pereira, who could be available for a cut-price deal this summer with the Baggies returning to the Championship.
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In a TEAMtalk exclusive earlier this month, the second-tier side are willing to let go of the Brazilian and could be available for just £15m, although the Express and Star has recently disputed this price tag and said he would not be leaving on the cheap this summer.
But the Baggies should look to retain Pereira for one more season, after initially joining on loan in 2019, and here’s why.
When West Brom activated the clause to bring the 25-year-old to the Hawthorns on a permanent deal the following summer, he committed to a four-year deal, meaning he is contracted to remain in the West Midlands until 2024.
Right now, the club are under no real pressure to sell him with Pereira still yet to enter the peak of his playing career and his contract running on for another three years.
They could maximise his price tag this summer and would have every right to do so, but they could also do that next summer when he will still have two years left to do.
If they do go on to sell him this summer, they may not be able to find an adequate replacement for the 25-year-old who has been so impressive since he arrived in England and at a time when the Baggies desperately need stability with a new manager set to come in, Pereira could be that key familiar figure at the Hawthorns with goalkeeper Sam Johnstone also linked with a move away.
Although Johnstone’s saves could be crucial for West Brom if they want to return to the Premier League, Pereira will be that spark in the attacking phase to provide the firepower needed to keep the Baggies near the top of the table.
Don’t forget the Brazilian also has experience in the second tier from his first season in the West Midlands and could go on to do even better in the Championship with a season of top tier football under his belt.
If West Brom then fail to achieve promotion but Pereira still impressed, they can then look at cashing in on him. But there’s no need for West Brom to push the panic button and sell him just yet unless the attacking midfielder forces a move elsewhere.
This wouldn’t be a surprise with the calibre of teams interested in him – but for now – he is likely to preparing ahead of pre-season with one thing in his mind: promotion.