Brighton winger Anthony Knockaert believes he is starting to show his true talent in the Premier League following a battle with depression. The 26-year-old admitted he was unable to perform in the top flight last season due to mental illness.
He received counselling for his problems, which followed the breakdown of his marriage and the death of his father.
Knockaert has contributed three assists in five games for Albion this term and feels his improved form is down to his rediscovered happiness.
“It’s not even about assists or anything, it’s just you can see on the pitch I’m myself again,” he said.
“It’s been the only time in the Premier League where I’ve consistently played well.
“I work hard, I don’t scream for no reason, I’m just myself again and I think I deserve it because when you are going through stuff like this I’m just so happy to see that again from myself.
“I think the holidays came at the perfect time. I needed to be away from everyone and just be with my friends, family and just to think about something else and I think I was in a good way because I was so far away.
“I went to a few places, just with my friends, talking about no football, just talking about life and they helped me a lot and I went away with my little boy as well so it was just perfect for me.
“I came back here and I was just so focused and ready to go – I was like, ‘It’s a new season, go and show everyone who you are’.
“My problems are over and I’m a happy man again.”