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For Pereira and Man United, loan move to Valencia is the right decision

The English transfer window was closing last Thursday and, while their rivals scrambled around trying to make final-day purchases, Manchester United were satisfied with how things had gone, having bought Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof and re-signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Jose Mourinho had to think about how he would give sufficient minutes to the members of his vast squad. Managers can never have enough players, but players don't always see it that way, especially if they're not in the first team.

In Spain, meanwhile, the transfer window was open for another 24 hours and Valencia were still keen to sign Andreas Pereira. The 21-year-old liked the idea of playing for Los Che, though not as much as playing every week for United.

However, he'd not even made Mourinho's matchday squad for any of the opening three league games. That was the same situation as a year ago, when he moved to Granada and played 37 games. Since making his United debut in 2014, he's featured in 13 total matches for the club.

United knocked back all of Valencia's previous approaches with a definite sounding "no," but the Liga side weren't for giving up. Marcelino, their new coach, likes Pereira and, more importantly, he's got an impressive young team playing well; Valencia's 2-2 draw at Real Madrid last Sunday was a spellbinding encounter.

Pereira had spoken to Mourinho, who rates the versatile Belgian-born Brazilian and kept in regular touch with him last season, but United's boss can only start 11 players. Valencia still wanted their man and, at 7:20 p.m. on Friday, upped the stakes and began to talk money, offering a €2 million loan fee for the season.

Suddenly, United wouldn't have to pay Pereira's wages and would get some money for him. It doesn't look like good business to reject the offer if he was going to play in half United's games, but what if he was only going to play fringe matches? Taking away the financial aspect, it would hardly help his career either.

Better still, he could progress at a big-city club in a top league and come back as a better player. Stand out at Valencia and Barcelona or Real Madrid will pay top dollar. They wouldn't do that for a player in a relegation-doomed Granada side.

United made sure there was no option for Valencia to sign him permanently at the end of the season and showed their commitment further by offering Pereira a new contract, tying him to Old Trafford until 2019, with the option of an additional year. If he's not made it at United by then, he's not going to make it.

Mourinho was in a similar situation with Romelu Lukaku when the two were at Chelsea. He knew the striker was good and would get better, but was also aware he wasn't ready to start every week. This deal helps United, the player and Valencia, who look more stable than their shambolic state of recent years.

"Andreas is already a very good footballer," Mourinho told United's website. "He is a young player with great natural ability and a good attitude towards continuing his development. I have no doubt that he has the potential to be one of the future great players of this club."

"Andreas is doing the right thing, just as he did going to a struggling team last season," Paul McGuinness, Pereira's former coach at United, told ESPN FC. "At Granada, he could work on a side of his game he's never had to work on: playing for a struggling team. He did well and that's why Valencia wanted him. The demands will be different there, Mestalla is a fantastic place to play football and it's another good step.

"I was with England youth when I'd just finished at United and Joe Cole came to speak to the young players. Joe told them to get to 50 league games as quickly as they could. And then 100 games. By doing that you become a real player. Andreas is doing that. He could have stayed at United but he wouldn't have got enough games."

Pereira played for McGuinness in United's Under-18 team.

"He came as a big talent, who could do a bit of everything," said McGuinness. "He can score, he can shoot with both feet, he can take free kicks and corners, create goals and be a crowd pleaser. He's a playmaker, an inside forward, although he can play up front. He can beat people. He's a player who could come back to Old Trafford and be a star."

McGuinness knows his personality as well.

"He has real belief in himself; he's very confident in his own ability and he has a lot of ability. The top players have that. I had him when he was undergoing the transition from schoolboy to professional. He was used to being the star man, who wanted to show his talent, to be man of the match all the time."

McGuinness had been there himself; his father is former United player and manager, Wilf McGuinness.

"As a young player, I finished a game disappointed and my father asked why. I hadn't been the best player; that was why. My father said: 'If that's your attitude then you'll never make it.' As Andreas gets older, he has to realise that he has to make everybody else play better by providing and making the simple passes to keep the game going."

Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to show his ability when he arrived at Old Trafford, but coaches had to tweak his game to make him a team player, something the young Portuguese winger did not always take this well.

"Andreas has rhino skin; he can take disappointment," said McGuinness. "I left him out of one game, an odd decision because he was the best player. I wanted to see his reaction. He didn't sulk. I also played him at Chelsea up front by himself. He was brilliant. And I wouldn't be surprised if he did well and came back to United to be a star."