Former Manchester United forward Memphis Depay knew he had to leave Old Trafford when his own team-mates told him they couldn’t understand why Jose Mourinho wasn’t playing him.
The Barcelona forward charged with replacing Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp has revealed what pushed him over the edge during his time in England.
He told El Periodico: ‘I’ve thought a lot about why it went wrong. The first season I had to adapt and it didn’t go well compared to my time at PSV.
‘I lost a bit of confidence and I lost the confidence of [Louis] Van Gaal and his staff.
‘It was hard for me. The following season I felt like I had more experience, but they changed the coach.
‘Jose Mourinho came and I fought to get into the team but I think the idea of giving me a chance was never in his head. He never gave me an opportunity. Never.
‘I went to his office but it changed nothing. It was a very difficult period, I felt that I was training well and the players themselves did not understand it.
‘[Paul] Pogba and Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] told me: “Why don’t you ever play?” For me that was the confirmation that I had no chance. And I realised that I didn’t want to be in a big club without playing.’
The 27-year-old Dutch forward was 21 when he moved to the Premier League. He joined Barcelona from Lyon this summer.
He added: ‘I realised [at United] that I had to start over and show everyone that I could be one of the best.
‘I had a long contract, of five years, and a good salary, but I did not feel comfortable. So I left and it was the best decision I could have made.’