Former Swansea mangager Paul Clement has revealed that Renato Sanches arrived at the club in the summer "damaged", and that his teammates wanted him to be dropped from the first-team.
The 20-year-old arrived in Wales having expected to join another big club in Europe after failing to impress at Bayern Munich.
But Sanches, despite his reputation, has struggled under the weight of expectation at Swansea.
"Bayern really supported it," Clement, who was sacked by Swansea in December, told the Times. "They thought he was going to a club who played football, and to a coach who would care and give him the attention he needs.
"He (Sanches) wasn't so keen initially. He thought he was going to go to Manchester United, Chelsea or Paris Saint-Germain. Bayern were saying, 'You're not going there, it would be the same situation, you're not going to play'."
Sanches was considered something of a coup on his arrival at Swansea, but Clement revealed that he was painfully lacking in confidence and didn't impress his teammates.
Paul Clement on Renato Sanches: "He was far more damaged than I thought. It was really sad. He was a boy who had almost got the weight of the world on his shoulders." https://t.co/gOsYVxXPzr pic.twitter.com/GQ1l0FgHbW— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 4, 2018
"When he came, he was far more damaged than I thought," Clement said. "It was really sad. He was a boy who had almost got the weight of the world on his shoulders.
"In training, when that pressure is not there, he was the best player. But then in games, I looked at the choices he was making, shooting from 45 yards on the angle, and he kept making those mistakes.
"He got in a vicious cycle of poor choices. The other players were saying, 'he's playing like that and you're not picking me' so it became difficult to pick him."
Sanches has made 15 appearances for Swansea so far this season.