West Bromwich Albion wide man Matheus Pereira has hit out at those who have labelled him as ‘not committed’ and thanked fans for their support in an update on Twitter, as the Brazilian addressed his future.
Pereira, 25, was a key player for the Baggies last season as he recorded an impressive 17 goal contributions in 33 Premier League appearances, an outstanding total despite not being able to save a struggling West Brom side from relegation.
The Brazilian has been heavily linked with a move away from the West Midlands this summer due to this fantastic record but at this stage, it’s unclear whether the 25-year-old will get the move he craves with three years still left on his contract after signing permanently last summer shortly after their promotion to the top flight.
This uncertainty surrounding his future at the Championship side has only gone on to increase speculation about his next destination – and these rumours are unlikely to cease until he secures a move away from the club or when this summer’s transfer window finally shuts.
With a month still left to go until deadline day, Pereira has finally decided to speak out amid claims he’s uncommitted to his current club as he shared his side of the story.
In an update on Twitter this afternoon, the 25-year-old said: “I remained silent and was not going to address anything until after the transfer window out of respect for the fans and my teammates.
“However, after being called ‘not committed’ with the club, I felt extremely disrespected as a professional.
“I’ve been living off football since I was 12 years old. I chose to give up family time and just ordinary fun to chase after a dream of a better future for myself and those around me.
“No one has ever seen an interview in which I had bad-mouthed the club, or anyone associated with the club or even that I wanted to leave the club by any means.
“That is because I have character and I respect the club as it opened up its doors to me when I needed [it] and believed in me.
“Dedication has never [been] lacked and I’ve always been committed in the last two seasons.
“We [West Brom] fought our way back to the Premier League and we fought to stay in the Premier League and I know every single professional fought for those goals just as I did.
“It is extremely wrong for anyone to say I’m ‘not committed’ since I train and commit as I normally would and give 100% every single day. I think it’s low to try and degrade my image and professionalism in this manner.
“I don’t want to leave the club through the back door, that was never my plan or intention, quite the contrary. I want the club to be adequately rewarded for believing in me and supporting me for two seasons. Three weeks ago, I received an offer that would change my life and my family’s life forever.
“I come from humble beginnings, slowly but surely I’ve been building myself up and achieving things with a lot of hard work and dedication. To achieve financial freedom at 25 would be unimaginable.
“I want to leave, I want to seek new experiences but want to do this in a fair and correct manner. I will forever be grateful to WBA [West Bromwich Albion], to its fans and every single professional that works at the club and that welcomed me with open arms, to those that cheered for me these last two seasons, you’re part of my history!
“I’m a professional and will always respect that.”
This is an emotional message from a player who is quite clearly feeling the strain from all the transfer speculation surrounding him and the accusations that have been made because of it – and will just want to focus on his football wherever he ends up.
As Pereira has stated, he has made sacrifices to rise to the top of the English game and without the benefit of wall-to-wall coverage, most people only have a limited idea of what’s been said and done behind the scenes at The Hawthorns.
Whatever happens over the next few months, the 25-year-old should look to put his own mental wellbeing first after a stressful summer and choose the option that’s right for both him and his family.
Judging by this message to West Brom fans, he seems like the type of person to do this and after becoming a standout player in one of the best leagues in the world last season, if not the best, he is destined to shine wherever his next destination is.
Some people will say being a footballer is easy but when you’re in the limelight like Pereira has been over the past few months amid links to Leeds United, Leicester City, RB Leipzig and others, it’s bound to take its toll at some point.