Andreas Pereira has explained his decision to leave Manchester United last summer despite Jose Mourinho’s wishes.
Pereira joined Valencia on a season-long loan in a move that Mourinho admitted “disappointed” him.
The midfielder has played 22 games in Spain, featuring most regularly as a substitute for La Liga’s third-placed team.
He believes his decision to leave has been vindicated, however.
“[Mourinho] told me I had to stay but I wanted to play and get more minutes. He wanted me to stay there and it was important [to him], but I needed to do this,” he told The Guardian.
“This was important for me and my career. And I’m sure if it works out, next year I will be back there and it will be better for both of us.
“In the end I think he is happy because he is a very honest coach. I was talking to him right up to the very last minute when I came here.
“My dad always tells me what to do and what not to do on the pitch. He always gives me advice. But coming to Spain again was my decision.
“I wanted to go somewhere and play a regular season and play every game because I think it was important for me. Last year I did it and I felt stronger for it. I felt good. The United staff recognised it and they saw that I came back a better player. And that’s why I made the same decision this year.
“[At first] I was thinking that I want to stay. But as the pre-season went on I had the feeling: ‘I don’t think I’m going to play enough, I’m not going to get a lot of minutes.’
“I have to play, I have to continue developing. I knew I would get some game time at United but here I’m playing every week and being important for the team.
“It was a very difficult decision. 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 still be a United player.”