When Jordan Veretout decided to sign for Aston Villa over Leicester City at the beginning of the 2015-16 season, few questioned his motives.
Leicester had barely escaped relegation, and, even with their exciting end of season run, out of the two clubs at the beginning of the season, you probably would have banked on the Villains staying up under Tim Sherwood.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it worked out, with Villa relegated and finishing rock bottom of the Premier League, while Leicester lifted the trophy against all odds.
Now on loan at Saint-Etienne, the midfielder has become very chatty to the French press about his time at Aston Villa, and France Football have published a three page interview about his time there on Tuesday.
Explaining that the phone call from Leicester came that little bit too late for him to change his mind over where he wanted to play in England, the player said he could have made a different choice.
He explained: “Would I have signed if Leicester had called first? Yes, but I didn’t have enough time to think about it. I should have chosen based on the manager. Ranieri knew me, wanted me. Aston Villa’s didn’t, he didn’t know me. It was complicated. There you have it. It’s that kind of thing that helps you mature.”
The 24-year-old explained adapting to life in England wasn’t particularly easy, even if there were a lot of French speaking players already at the club, which helped the work aspect of things.
His first meeting with Tim Sherwood, however, wasn’t the most enlightening.
He said: “He told me I was a member of the team, that there was competition and the best players would play. I played two games, then I wasn’t anymore, even if I was part of the group.
“I don’t know how they work. They don’t give you any explanation. Then I was lucky that Garde came.”
Still, considering everything that went on, the player refuses to feel like he wasted his time in England, even if Leicester did win the Premier League.
Did that sadden him? “No, frankly, no. Everyone was talking to me about it, but it was my choice. I don’t regret anything. I could have been at Leicester and things might have been different. You cannot have regrets.”
His downfall? Not enough experience, having only played for Nantes in his career: “I only realised that when I arrived at Villa”.