Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Leandro Trossard says that the time he spent away from former parent club KRC Genk back in Belgium has been vital for his career.
Albion’s newest recruit spent time with Lommel United, Westerlo and OH Leuven before establishing himself at his boyhood side, and he reflected on how the loan spells had benefitted him.
He said, “It helped me a lot in my development, the first time I went out on loan I was only 18.
“I was young, but I wanted to play and prove myself to the bigger teams, that’s why I matured to show myself in a good way when I arrived back at Genk.
“I was ready with a lot of games under my belt and it’s become more common in Belgium in recent seasons, some players have proved themselves and now more youth players are looking to do that."
Trossard left KRC Genk after captaining them to the league title and the UEFA Champions League in the process last term, and he believes the fans at his former club wish him nothing but the best for the future.
“At the moment they’re just happy for me, the last couple of years there were really good for me and I brought them some joy,” he continued.
“It’s obviously always difficult to lose a key player of the team but they’re just happy that I can progress and move to the Premier League.
“Maybe they’re a bit sad because it’s always tough to replace a key player and you never know what can happen in the future, but I know they wish me well.”
The 24-year-old has linked up with his new teammates for the first time out in Austria this week, he spoke of the experience so far and looked ahead to life under new head coach Graham Potter.
“The lads have all really helped me settle in, so it’s gone well so far. The training has been quite similar to what I was used to back in Belgium and there’s a lot of emphasis on work with the ball which I really like.
“Some details are perhaps a bit different, but I’m really happy with how it is so far because it’s something that I enjoy. I feel I’ll be able to adapt quickly, it’s an exciting time for me, for sure.
“For me it’s easier in a way too, because everyone needs to show what they can do to the new manager now and everyone starts at the beginning.”