Jordy Clasie has admitted to the Daily Echo that it has been tough trying to adapt to English football.
Clasie was Southampton’s marquee addition in the summer transfer window, but injury has thwarted his progress at St. Mary’s.
It is only recently that the Dutch midfielder has been available for selection, and he admits that he will need to get fitter before he starts showing his very best.
“The first minutes against Liverpool away, I look on the board and it felt like I had been play for 40 minutes and there was only 20 minutes on the board,” he said.
“That’s the level I want to play. The league is a very high level, but that’s why I came to England.
“I want to play at a higher level than Holland and England is the perfect step I think.
“I know I can, I have to be, fitter than I am now and now I’m 90-85 per cent. Give me a couple of weeks and then I’m 100 per cent.”
Ronald Koeman’s faith in Clasie has been highlighted by the fact that he has selected him to start Southampton’s last four matches.
The 24-year-old has still not completed 90 minutes for the Saints, though, with his fitness issues still evident.
Southampton have generally been in good form since Clasie came into starting contention, but they were disappointing at the weekend.
The Saints lost 1-0 against Stoke City last Saturday, and they will be eager to get back to winning ways by beating Manchester City in their next outing.