Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen has admitted to the London Evening Standard that he has found it difficult to find his top form, after his struggles with injury.
The Belgian defender was sidelined on four different occasions with ankle problems last term, as he failed to ever find full fitness.
However, this season, he has been a mainstay in Mauricio Pochettino's first-team, with the 28-year-old seemingly back to his very best.
And Vertonghen said: "The injury has been very difficult. I came back from the last World Cup with another ankle injury, so I had four in one season.
"It has been hard to get back on track. The most important thing is to feel free in whatever you do and that is what I'm trying to do now.
"Fitness is the most important thing in football and the rest will take care of itself. I just try to do my exercises and I get treatment at the right times so I feel free on the pitch."
Vertonghen has been a key part of a Spurs defence which has been formidable so far this campaign.
No team in the Premier League have conceded fewer goals than Spurs in the league, and the strength of their backline has been a major reason behind their impressive start.
Mauricio Pochettino's side have been unbeaten in the league since the very first day of the season, and there is optimism around White Hart Lane that this could be a very productive season.
At the moment Spurs are just two points away from the top-four, with their next match coming against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool after the international break.