(Reuters) – Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira says loan spells at Spanish sides Granada and Valencia over the last two seasons have been crucial to his improved performances at the Premier League club.
The 22-year-old, a product of United’s youth system, is yet to have a breakthrough campaign at the club but featured in the team’s pre-season fixtures ahead of the current season, earning praise from manager Jose Mourinho.
The Brazilian says he rejected Mourinho’s advice to stay at United last year to join Valencia on a loan move instead and the decision has now paid off.
“It was very difficult for me to take that decision. Like Mourinho is one of the best coaches in the world, and he tells you to stay, and if you go against it you’ve only got things to lose in your head really,” Pereira told Sky Sports.
“I was nervous about that, but it came out well. We had a great year in Valencia, and I am a better player, and this season he has a better Andreas than he could have had last year.”
Pereira’s pre-season exploits led to him starting United’s league opening 2-1 win over Leicester City last Friday. The Brazilian will be hoping to keep his place as the Old Trafford outfit travel to Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)