Midfielder Jordan Veretout hasn’t just had to adjust to life in a new country, at a new club and with a new language, there was also the small matter of a newborn to contend with as well.
With the 22 year old really showing some good form and hopefully a sign of things to come in the derby victory over Birmingham the other week with his performance, with the international lull now in full swing he was interviewed by the Official Site on the challenges he faced moving to the club, and also his thoughts of the atmosphere in the English game.
‘As far as I’m concerned everything is going really well. I’m playing for a great club and living in a great city, so I’m really happy with the way things are. I feel I had done everything at Nantes that I could do and I was ready for a new challenge. My wife Sabrina understood that. It wasn’t easy at the beginning – I had to get used to many new things and so did she. But she wanted to do that for me because she loves me. Obviously I’ve got greater responsibilities now. I’ve got my wife and my child to look after.’
Veretout went on to say it was ‘very difficult’ to begin with because on top of everything else there was a new voice in the house that came to life gone midnight (many of us will have been there!) so sleep was an issue for a period before he got into a new rhythm but now he’s fine and he feels he’s settling in well.
‘It was very difficult at first because I wasn’t getting the sleep I was used to before – I had to get used to a new rhythm with the baby. But we moved into our new property and we’re settling in nicely. I’m getting the sleep I need and I can concentrate on finding my best form again.’
Having been highly rated France’s Ligue 1, Veretout admitted it had been a slow start to life in his few outings so far, but he felt his showing against Birmingham in the second half of the match is what fans can expect from him in the future.
‘The atmosphere in our last home game was unbelievable. I expected the stadium to be really noisy because it was a derby game but perhaps I didn’t expect the supporters to be quite as loud as they were. Coming from a different country, it was important for me to understand how important the game was to our supporters and in the weeks leading up to the game they would stop me in the street and tell me to make sure we won the match. So I’m glad we managed to do that and send them home happy.’
He added that he knew what a derby atmosphere was like from France, but obviously that goes up a notch in the English game.
‘I know what they mean to the fans. Basically there is a rule – you don’t play derby matches, you win them. So it was nice to win against what I’ve been told is the club’s biggest rival and to progress into the next round of the cup.’
As for his move, knowing the likes of Paul Pogba, Kurt Zouma and Yaya Sanogo from the French youth levels, he went on to say he did his homework about the club and the league and what he would have to adjust to but in the end he made the decision and it felt right for him.
‘I spoke to Pogba and Sanogo and asked them both what it would be like for me to come to England. I asked them what it would be like to join Aston Villa. In the end, though, it was my choice. When I came to Aston Villa it just felt right and I knew I wanted to be here. It was a club I instantly got a feeling for so that’s ultimately what swayed my decision. It’s all about doing a job for the coach and making a success of it. I’ve come here to discover a new league. I’m really looking forward to making progress now.’
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