Andreas Pereira has made it clear that he aims to establish himself at Manchester United upon returning from his loan spell at Valencia over the summer.
The Brazilian, having enjoyed an impressive campaign with Granada, went against his manager’s wishes and moved back to La Liga ahead of the 2017/18 season, signing for Valencia on a season-long loan.
And he has played an important role for the third placed La Liga side, making 20 appearances for Los Che since arriving in September.
Speaking earlier this week, Pereira noted that he didn’t want to leave Man United but pointed out that he knew the increased game time in Spain would help him in the long run at Old Trafford.
“It was difficult because he told me I had to stay and I wanted to play and get more minutes,” he said.
“I never want to leave United but I want to play as well. In the end it will make me a better player and I will be that better player at United. I wanted to go somewhere and play a regular season.
“Last year I did it and I felt stronger for it. The United staff recognised it [in pre-season].”
You really did get the impression that Pereira, far removed from the perennial rain and lack of minutes in Manchester, would simply see no point in leaving a Valencia side that has been rejuvenated under new manager Marcelino.
This is probably why Jose Mourinho was so reluctant to see him leave. The 55-year-old wanted Pereira to fight for his place and develop under his close supervision; doing that elsewhere can often lead to the squad you leave behind moving on and your chances of becoming part of the side’s fabric diminishing.
But Pereira’s long term goal still centres around Manchester, and supporters will hope that this latest loan spell – spent in the top rung of Spanish football – proves enough to propel him to first team contention.