Portuguese goalkeeper Joel Pereira is keen to live up to his potential with Manchester United. The 21-year-old is currently the Red Devils’ third-choice goalkeeper behind David de Gea and Sergio Romero, but he has been backed by Jose Mourinho to become one of Portugal’s best shot-stoppers of the current generation.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Pereira stressed that he is very happy at Old Trafford despite playing deputy to De Gea and Romero, he said: “I’m very happy. As the number three, I have two top goalkeepers in front of me, and they help me a lot too. They have lots of experience and they can help me with that. Obviously, I have a manager who has helped me so much and has always been by my side. I’m learning a lot so I am happy where I am. Obviously, it’s very nice to hear good stuff coming from the manager. Now is my time to show people that he’s right about me and everything he says is actually the truth. I’m just learning and getting some experience. We’ll see what happens next.”

Pereira made his first-team debut for Manchester United during the backend of last season, where he was brought on as an 80th-minute substitute for Romero in a FA Cup fourth round tie versus Wigan Athletic. Since then, he has been rewarded with a four-year contract until the summer of 2021 with Mourinho seeing him as a quality recruit, who can contribute for the club in the long-run.

At present, Pereira can’t expect any playing time with the Red Devils, but the probable departure of De Gea in the future could see him promoted higher up in the ranks. De Gea has repeatedly been linked with Real Madrid since his failed move during the summer of 2015, and reports suggest that Los Blancos could return for the shot-stopper at the end of the current season. De Gea’s current deal expires in the summer of 2019 but with the option of a 12-month extension clause.