Moving abroad can be a difficult experience and it’s something we don’t often consider when analysing transfers in football.
Sometimes a player can’t settle in his new country, with a longing for his homeland, or wherever he felt most at home, affecting him in more ways than one.
Former Cardiff City man Lex Immers is a player who can tell you all about that. The Dutchman moved to Cardiff on loan from Feyenoord in January 2016, with the Welsh club electing to turn it into a permanent move that summer.
He never settled, though, making 13 appearances for Cardiff that season and just two of those coming between October and January.
That winter window saw him depart Cardiff for Club Brugge, with the Bluebirds electing to let him leave on a free transfer, just six months after paying £2m to sign him permanently.
👨🎨 | Vanavond een heerlijke aflevering van 'Bij Andy in de auto' met @ImmersLex.
"Ik zei tegen mijn zaakwaarnemer: 'Als je nou niet regelt dat ik naar huis kan, kap ik helemaal met voetbal. Dan ga ik wel schilderen."
🚘 Bij Andy in de auto
⏰ 21.00 uur
📺 FOX Sports 2 pic.twitter.com/fB1b3W6xYt
— FOX Sports (@FOXSportsnl) October 29, 2019
Now 33, Immers is at Ado den Haag and, talking to FOX Sports, looked back on his time at Cardiff and the lengths he went to to get out of the club.
“I could no longer go to my parents, drink a cup of coffee,” he told the show, relayed by Voetbal Primeur.
“I could no longer do my thing like spending a night at the café. You can take the plane home but does that make any sense?
“At one point, I thought, “I’m out. “I said to Frank (Schouten, his agent), close to tears: ‘I’m opting out, money is no longer necessary for me’
“If you don’t arrange for me to be able to go home, I’ll quit completely and start painting. I really did say that! Money is not important at all.”