Mohamed Elyounoussi has found his place at Southampton after spending the previous two seasons on loan at Celtic.
The Saints signed the winger from FC Basel in 2018, when Mark Hughes was in charge, and later that December, Hughes was sacked and replaced by Ralph Hasenhüttl.
Elyounoussi struggled for minutes under the Austrian, which convinced him to join Celtic on a temporary deal.
The Norway international managed 24 goals and 14 assists across all competitions during his two-year spell with Celtic. He has now revealed the time he spent with the Bhoys has helped him regain his best version.
“When people see a footballer, they see the glamorous life, the goals we score and that everything is good. But it also has a backside with heavy nights and days. You can feel a little alone sometimes. Then it’s about having the right people around you,” the 27-year-old said, as quoted by TV2.
“I’ve been tested mentally on how strong you are and you should never give up. It was tough, but I’m happy with the experience at Celtic, where I found myself and gained confidence.”
Like the summer of 2020, the attacker returned to Southampton earlier this summer. The Premier League side, instead of allowing him go out on loan, decided to retain the player and he was included in Hasenhüttl plans this season.
On how he managed to change things at Southampton after his Celtic stint, Elyounoussi said: “I never gave up and wanted to show how good I can be when you get a new manager that you don’t know very well.
“I’ve needed a couple of years, but luckily I’ve had my wife and family around me who have supported me. I got the opportunity in pre-season and then in the cup and then it was all about taking it.
“It was not one hundred percent certain. The club gave signals that I should not go anywhere else, but I had to show up. It has been good to perform now, but there will be bad days again, and you have to go through that as well.”