Winger Adama Traore says he is enjoying life at Middlesbrough after suffering relegation with Aston Villa last season.
Having come through Barcelona’s La Masia academy, the Spaniard moved to Villa Park at the start of the 2015/16 season, but failed to make an impact as the club dropped down to the Sky Bet Championship.
“My life in Middlesbrough is good. It is a little different out in Spain, but I think it’s good,” he told Soccer Saturday.
“I am happy to come here. The first thing is to play and help the team but life in Middlesbrough is good. The weather is different and it is so, so cold. I’ve always lived in Barcelona and it’s not normally that cold. This is my job and I love it, but it is colder on the pitch.”
“I think the time I spent at Aston Villa was difficult. It was a difficult time and a difficult moment for the team. For me, when I was coming from the second division in Spain into the first division here and it was my first time, I needed some time to go into the team and play.
“The team needed to win and they kept losing, and it wasn’t helpful that I went into the team but this moment has passed, and now I am here.
“When there is a difficult moment, you need to stay strong because it’s difficult when you don’t play. My first point from going out of Barcelona was to play and I came to Aston Villa and when you don’t play, it is difficult.
Traore joined La Masia in 2004 and spent ten years in the academy before going on to make 63 appearances for Barcelona B.
However, he made only one appearance for the first team and describes how he felt a move away from the Nou Camp was the best thing for his career.
“Every player has a dream to play at Barcelona for a long time, but you have different roles for the team,” he added.
“The club told me I could stay but I said in the moment, I need a new experience. I need to go to the Premier League to play and learn because I need to progress and if I can’t play in the premier division and in the first team here, I need to go to another club.
“It very different here. Not only personally, but it is a different culture, different tactics in the game, a different team but I think it is good for me to learn about these things in another country. Everything is good for my game and my learning.”