Express & Star

Loan star Matheus Pereira ready to make West Brom mark

Slaven Bilic is confident Matheus Pereira can turn into a match-winner for the Baggies this season.

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Matheus Pereira (AMA)

The Brazilian winger is pushing for a start this weekend after making an impact off the bench in Albion’s last two fixtures.

It was his nutmeg which led to Filip Krovinovic winning a penalty against Reading, and the Sporting loanee then won a spot-kick himself against Derby County.

On both occasions, Kenneth Zohore converted the penalties to rescue a point.

“He’s a really good player, who can make a difference in the final third,” said Bilic.

“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.”

Albion spent five weeks locked in talks with Sporting over a deal for Pereira, who has arrived on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent deal next summer.

If he makes a certain number of appearances this season, the Baggies will be obliged to buy the 23-year-old from the Portuguese outfit for around £9million.

Pereira was keen on the move and Bilic says he’s settled in quickly.

“This is that kind of club,” said Bilic. “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.

“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.”

Albion have looked composed in possession this season, but struggled to find a cutting edge in the final third.

“It’s about taking your chances,” said Bilic. “If you don’t shoot you ain’t gonna score.”