Angelo Henriquez has rejected claims that his loan move from Manchester United to Dinamo Zagreb represents an obvious backwards step in terms of the striker's career prospects.
20-year-old Henriquez's August 2012 switch to England from Club Universidad de Chile was initially met with much enthusiasm yet he is yet to make a single senior competitive appearance for the Red Devils and has subsequently spent time out on loan in the Premier League with Wigan Athletic and in Spain with Real Zaragoza.
Having largely failed to prove that he has what it takes to succeed at Manchester United during those aforementioned stints, the Chilean international - who can boast an excellent record of two goals in three caps for La Roja but has not received a call-up since September 2013 - departed for another temporary spell away from Old Trafford in August after agreeing to join Dinamo for the entire 2014/15 campaign.
Such a move to a vastly inferior league prompted some to suggest that Henriquez had taken an obvious backwards step - but the player himself certainly does not appear to view it that way.
"I don’t think it was a backwards step in my career [joining Dinamo] but a good chance to play and get experience of European football," he was quoted by the Daily Express prior to Dinamo's Europa League clash with Scottish champions Celtic on Thursday evening.
"Dinamo is a special challenge for me because I know the club aspires to be the best in Croatia and that will help me achieve my goal."
Manchester United contact
As well as relishing the task at hand with the reigning Prva HNL champions, Henriquez confirmed that he is in constant contact with his parent club and also seems certain that he is still having his progress closely monitored by Manchester United.
"I have constant contact with people from Manchester United," he continued.
“Not [Louis] van Gaal, but people from Carrington, the coaches. They want to know every detail – from the intensity of training here, diet, life in Zagreb. With that amount of care for a year, I know I’m still being followed by United.”
Dinamo will travel to Celtic Park in high spirits this evening as Zoran Mamić's side currently top Group D after a thumping 5-1 victory over Romanian outfit Astra Giurgiu Stadion Maksimir last month.
The hosts, meanwhile, are searching for their first win in the competition proper after being held to a 2-2 draw by Red Bull Salzburg in their previous outing.