Stoke City midfielder Wouter Burger has admitted he was not ready to play for Feyenoord earlier in his career, after breaking through from the youth ranks.

Burger has been speaking on the transfer deadline day show on FC Afkicken, relayed by, when the discussion on his time at Feyenoord came up.

Burger joined the Dutch side as a youngster from Excelsior in 2013 and spent the next five years working his way up the various youth ranks before making it into the first team.

He would only make 16 first team appearances for Feyenoord, though, struggling to establish himself for them and eventually finding himself sent out on loan and back to his former club.

He eventually gave up on his time at the club and was sold to FC Basel after another loan spell away at Sparta Rotterdam, with all involving admitting things had simply not worked out as hoped.

He spent two fruitful years in Switzerland before joining Stoke in a €5m deal in August last year, where he’s been impressing ever since, managing three assists and one goal in 24 games in the league to date.

He’s happy with life in at Stoke and, looking back, admits he was simply too young to make a success of his time at Feyenoord.

“I think that in my time, when I broke through at Feyenoord and I was around 18 years old, I was just not ready for it yet. I still had to make real flying hours,” he said.

“I also think that if you join a first team as a boy, you need boys around you who make the difference, so that you can raise yourself to their level.

“It’s not that we didn’t have good players, but we just didn’t perform well enough as Feyenoord.

“Then for me as a young boy, who wasn’t 100% ready at that age, it was just a very big step. We also didn’t have a ‘Young Team’ in which you could make flying hours, so I was stuck between two stools for quite a few years.”