Morgan Schneiderlin did not expect to be playing on a cold Tuesday night in Hartlepool when he joined Southampton, but believes such experiences helped turn him into a Premier League-class player.
The 22-year-old is one of just a handful of players to have remained with the south coast club during what has been a turbulent past four years, which saw the club go from the brink to the Premier League via back-to-back promotions. Schneiderlin was part of the side relegated to League One in 2009, capping what was a difficult first season in English football for the French midfielder.
"For myself, it was very difficult," said Schneiderlin, who joined Saints despite reported interest from the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea.
He added: "I was very young, I was only 18 and for me it was a difficult thing to leave my family and friends to come to England.
"The first year was especially hard as we also did not have the best results.
"I tried to learn the language very quickly and how to live in England. I did that and now I have no regrets because everything went the way it wanted to when I first came.
"I am in the Premier League so it is good now. I don't regret anything."
Furthermore, Schneiderlin believes his four years in the Football League have actually aided his development, particularly highlighting the two seasons spent in the third tier.
"League One made me a better player," he said. "You don't play in the best stadiums, you don't play against the best teams but it is a very good learning curve.
"I remember one game against Hartlepool where there was so much wind we could not play football. But that's part of football and that makes you more appreciative when you play in the Premier League and makes you work even harder to stay here."
- Morgan Schneiderlin