West Brom boss Slaven Bilic: Matheus Pereira’s class clear
Slaven Bilic said he knew Matheus Pereira was a special player as soon as he saw him play.
Pereira was recommended to Bilic by contacts in Germany and is rapidly becoming a fans’ favourite at The Hawthorns with the 23-year-old having put in a number of outstanding displays in recent weeks.
That form has meant fellow number 10 Filip Krovinovic has had to make do with a place on the subs’ bench.
Bilic believes Krovinovic has been unfortunate not to start more games – with the head coach pleased with the contribution his fellow countryman is making.
But he also thrilled with Pereira who he says is playing ‘unbelievable’ football. “I have some really good contacts in Germany and I watched him in the summer,” Bilic said. “It was obvious he was a good player.
“He played for a team (FC Nurnberg) that was relegated last season.
“But he’s not just a flair player, he’s hungry and good physically, strong legs and all that.
“At the moment Filip Krovinovic is not starting and to be fair Filip also deserves to start.
“At the moment, Pereira is playing unbelievable football and we want it to stay like that. He’s one of those players making the difference.”
Pereira and Krovinovic may be battling to for a starting spot on the pitch, but off it they are the best of friends – with Pereira calling the Croatian midfielder his ‘brother’.
“He’s like a Brazilian,” Pereira said. “He’s always happy, he’s always with high spirits
“We’re happy, positive people and I think will have some great combinations on the pitch.”
While Pereira and Krovinovic get on particularly well, the Brazilian says everyone at Albion has helped him settle following his loan move from Sporting Lisbon.
“Every club I’ve ever played for, there’s something different,” he added.
“At Sporting, at Nurnberg, what has really caught my attention here is how welcoming, how open, how nice everybody is, how they embrace you as part of the family.
“You go to the stadium and it’s packed and the supporters cheer you on.
“You come to the training ground and everybody, from the cleaners to the CEO, they welcome you and can’t do enough for you.
“Talking about settling in, this has made a massive difference to me.”