‘Like kids in school’ What Slaven Bilic has made of Matheus Pereira’s West Brom start
Slaven Bilic expects that there is plenty more to come from winger Matheus Pereira.
The West Brom loanee was a wanted man all summer – and the desire for the move to occur was shared by the player himself – but the agreement with Sporting Lisbon was only finalised on transfer deadline day.
Having been handed a cameo appearance from the bench in the cup defeat to Millwall, Pereira enjoyed a similar run-out on Saturday at Kenilworth Road as the Baggies squeezed past Luton Town.
Perhaps overshadowed – understandably so – by fellow substitute and loanee Grady Diangana, Pereira put in another very eye catching performance nonetheless and is among a cluster of players pushing for a start this evening as Bilic contemplates changes to his starting line-up.
Though the Portuguese youngster is having to overcome the obvious language barrier at training and on matchdays, Bilic is pleased with how easily Pereira has taken to life in the Black Country and has acknowledged his promising displays thus far.
“This is that kind of club. It’s a very friendly, family club. Our squad is a friendly one, so it’s not difficult for the players to feel at home,” Bilic said. “That’s helped him of course.
“He’s a new guy, he came on the last day. It was a transfer that took a long long time to do it. We wanted him from the beginning from Sporting. He really wanted to come here.
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“He’s a really good player, who can make a difference in the final third. Good on the ball, good vision, he had a good season last year in the Bundesliga at Nurnberg, and that’s why we wanted him.
“He’s made a good impact in these couple of games. I said to the players that in training, not to mention games, you are getting pluses and minuses, like kids in school. If there are more pluses, your chances of starting or being involved in the squad for the next game improve.
“If not, you go a bit down and that’s the way it is. They call it competition, and I agree with that.
“He’s definitely the one that makes us thicker in quantity but also quality in that part of the team.”