Former Brighton and Hove Albion star Jose Izquierdo has insisted his time at the club was a ‘good experience’, despite him going through ‘hell’ with injuries.
Izquierdo joined the Seagulls from Club Brugge for £13.05m in August 2017, the year they moved up into the Premier League.
He was a big hit at the club early on, making 32 appearances in the Premier League that season and racking up five goals and four assists that year.
He would go on to make just 18 appearances in all competitions over the following three years, though, as a series of injuries kept him out for extended periods of time.
The first of those was a knee injury picked up in August 2018, which kept him out for 58 days before another knee injury which meant another 84 days on the sidelines.
That was followed by a third knee injury in April 2019, which kept him out for a whopping 523 days and 49 games for Brighton.
By the end of his career at the club, he had missed a huge 77 games through injury for the club and 683 days on the sidelines, or just under two years.
He’s now on the road to recovery at Brugge but refuses to look at his time with Brighton as anything but a positive.
“Brighton was a good experience, you know. It was a chance to play in every sense of the word in the Premier League, a demanding league that I had to adapt to,” he told Sud Info.
“Playing in England was a dream, and I didn’t want to disappoint myself or those who believed in me. It wasn’t until I got there that I realised just how big the English league was!
“You tend to forget that I played a lot of games – and good ones.
“It’s a bit too long to explain it all to you, but I went through what I now call Hell. There was no hope; it was hell, from which I am only just coming back.
“I trained before and after the others, sometimes alone, in the gym, taking ice baths and doing preventive treatments for hours.
“All this without any prospect of playing. I’m a fast winger; I need to be 100% all the time. If you saw me at one time, I was drinking like a 40-year-old!”