Andreas Pereira has opened up about his relationship with Jose Mourinho and prospects with Manchester United, expressing a desire to return to Old Trafford as a stronger player.
The 20-year-old, after failing to breach the first-team under Mourinho, was sent out on loan to Spanish side Grenada during the summer.
Pereira’s move to Spain was initially received with caution, but the Brazilian – who has earned a regular spot under manager Lucas Alcaraz – has notably improved various aspects of his game since arriving in August.
Speaking earlier this week, the attacking midfielder reflected on his first few months in Spain, as well as outlining his ambitions for the future.
“I came to Spain to play and get more time on the pitch,” he said.
“I’m enjoying it. Granada is a beautiful city and I’ve visited the Alhambra Palace. The food is good, I like the paella. It’s good to play around Spain too. Playing in the Camp Nou was a great experience.
“The football is more physical in England, here, they play a bit slower and it’s more technical so it’s different and difficult to play here too. The training here is hard, with more emphasis on the tactical and skills side than the physical side.
“I speak to Paul Pogba and a lot of the other players. I ask how they’re doing, wish them luck. My plan is to get more experience here, to get into that rhythm of playing every week at a high level, then go back stronger to United, with a better football knowledge.
“With each game I feel that I’m getting better and better. I think I have a good future at United and the people at the club give me confidence that that is the case too.
“Mourinho sent me a message a couple of weeks ago asking how everything was going. You appreciate that when you’re away on loan.”
Pereira’s finest performance for Grenada came in perhaps the toughest of all environments: the Camp Nou. The Brazilian was an effervescent force against Barcelona, producing a series of excellent turns and enterprising runs in a game that ought to have ended in humiliation for the visiting side (Grenada are yet to win a game this season).
It is easy to spot various improvements already made by Pereira since arriving in Spain. His intelligence on the ball – a trait embedded in Spanish football culture – has radically improved along with his overall composure on the pitch. Playing regular first-team football has undoubtedly invoked a greater level of maturity and awareness into Pereira’s game, and United fans will hope to see him progress even further as the season goes on.