Late on transfer deadline day, Fulham completed the signing of Danish centre-back Joachim Andersen on a season-long loan with Lyon.
The Cottagers are still yet to pick up a point in the Premier League this season, shipping 11 goals in just four games, so manager Scott Parker made a point of snapping up Andersen in an attempt to steady the ship.
Now, speaking exclusively to 90min, Andersen has explained what convinced him to move to Fulham and what the future holds for him back at Lyon.
You've just joined Fulham on loan. How are you settling in?
I had my first training session on Thursday. It's been great meeting the guys in the club, everything seems family-friendly to me and the city looks really nice as well.
You signed your contract with Fulham right at the end of the transfer window. What were those final few days like?
I wasn't very happy in Lyon anymore because I wanted to play more. A few days before the end of the transfer window, I had a few conversations with management where I clearly told them that I wanted to leave on loan. It seemed clear to me that I was not going to have my chance this season. The negotiations then accelerated and Fulham were an obvious choice.
Why did you choose Fulham instead of other clubs? Torino were one of several to show their interest.
I spoke with several clubs, especially in Serie A, but the discussions with Fulham and Scott Parker convinced me. I saw them play last season and at the start of this season and I saw that they are a team that wants to play good football, playing out from the back. It's a style that suits me.
How did Scott Parker convince you?
I spoke with him a lot before signing. I have only had good feedback on him and his coaching. I was told he belongs to the new wave of talented coaches. In the first training session, I was impressed by his preferred style of play. He took the time to explain his playing philosophy to me and how he wanted me to play. It reinforced my decision to sign here.
Many fans would say you're now playing in the 'best league in the world'...
That's what decided it for me! It's a league that I have watched since I was a child. Playing in the Premier League has always been a dream and I'm proud to be able to make it happen with Fulham.
Is there a particular player or team that you can't wait to come up against?
I don't think about opponents. I have already played against great players like Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar and big clubs like PSG, Milan or Juventus. I always want to face the best and the Premier League is the perfect place for that.
Fulham are currently in the relegation zone and haven't picked up a single point in four games. Some see them as favourites for relegation, but how do you see Fulham's chances?
I've only trained once with the squad, but I can already see that there is quality, very good players with a good mentality. We have enough about us to survive in this division.
What are your personal goals during your time in England?
I want to play every game and have a big impact on the team. The goal is to get back to my best level and keep the club in the Premier League.Are you hoping to go back to Lyon as a better player next season?
For the moment, Rudi Garcia does not want me to play. The goal, for the moment, is to improve on loan, to continue to learn as much as possible and to go back to Lyon. But it is difficult to predict. We'll see.
When we spoke back in May, you were determined to succeed at Lyon. What has changed since then?
I am at an age where it is crucial for me to play a lot. It did not make sense for Lyon to have such an expensive player on the bench. It's a situation where we both lose. Now I have the opportunity to play 30 or so games in the Premier League, prove my worth and see where we stand afterwards.
In Rudi Garcia's eyes, you were third in the pecking order behind Marcelo and Jason Denayer. This season, you only started twice against Bordeaux and Montpellier. Do you understand his decision?
It's football. Obviously, this is a frustrating situation. Sometimes a coach will prefer other players and you want understand why. It's his decision and I respect it, but I need to play.
And finally, back in August, you were part of the squad who made it to the Champions League semi-final. You might have been an unused substitute against Manchester City and Bayern Munich, but what memories do you have of the historic run?
It was a special moment for the club and a great adventure to experience from the inside out, but I can't help but have a bitter feeling. I was desperate to play in those games. It's still a beautiful memory which I will look back on when I retire, especially my header against Benfica in the group stage, but at the time I was especially disappointed.
Source : 90min