Arriving from Paris FC in France back in 2018, Moussa Niakaté only spent a year and a half at Stoke City before leaving on a free transfer in the summer.

The 23-year-old left-back then wandered around football’s no man’s land, going on a two month one trial at Bolton before landing on his two feet during the last transfer window with Laval in the National, France’s third tier.

Signing a contract until the end of the season, Niakaté is still trying to prove himself professionally, but while he could sit there ruing his time at the bet365 Stadium for not managing to break into the first-team, that isn’t the case.

Speaking to Ouest-France, he said: “I think every footballer dreams about playing in England. I don’t regret going there. It was complicated at Stoke, with the language barrier, the physical intensity etc… Everything is different”.

However, at Laval, they’re thrilled at the fact Niakaté’s time with the Championship club wasn’t all smooth sailing, because they will end up benefitting from it.

Their manager, Olivier Frapolli, said, relayed by “Players who go abroad, especially at a young age, gain in maturity. It’s even harder in England, but they come out with a great capacity to adapt”.

While Niakaté isn’t quite fully ready to play, Ouest-France reckon he should be able to make his first appearance in a Laval shirt in the next few weeks.