Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira has revealed why defying manager Jose Mourinho to leave Old Trafford on loan last summer was a crucial and necessary step in his continued, explaining that his time away taught him so much both on and off the pitch.
Mourinho expressed disappointment this time last year when Pereira, who had spent the 2016/17 season on loan with La Liga side Granada, chose to pursue another loan with Valencia instead of fighting for a first team place at United.
The Brazilian played 29 times in all competitions for Valencia, having appeared in 37 games for Granada, and has returned to Manchester a more mature individual who was picked for the opening game of the 2018/19 Premier League season last weekend.
"I learned a lot of things being on my own, I lived on my own there, and it's different than living over here," Pereira told Sky Sports as he prepares for United's clash with Brighton on Sunday.
"I'm more professional now, I know what my body needs every day, I'm more mature now than I was two years ago. They've been really good for me, I think I've totally changed as a player and a human being after these two years," he added.
"It was very difficult for me to take that decision. 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.
"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.
"He hasn't told me [that I have improved], but I think he will see this in games. I have a very good relationship with him, he is very good with me, very honest."