Wigan forward Arouna Kone has revealed how much he is enjoying his free-scoring role at Wigan, after a bizarre clause in his contract at previous club Levante saw him left out of the side for bagging too many goals.
After joining the Liga side on loan from fellow Spanish outfit Sevilla, the striker was prevented from playing due to a stipualtion in the deal that would see him return to his parent club if he scored 18 goals.
“It was a very strange situation," Kone told the Daily Mirror.
"There was a clause in the loan agreement that if I scored 18 goals, I would have to return to Sevilla – even though I did not want to.
“After I would score in a game, a club official would say half-jokingly ‘go easy, don’t score too many!’.
“When I got to 17 goals, I injured my knee. Even though I was desperate to play, the club said it was best not to risk me and I felt like a caged animal not being able to play.
“Thankfully, it’s completely different here. My job has always been to score goals and Wigan want me to score as many as possible.”
Kone has recently returned from the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast, and while he played a limited role at the tournament in South Africa, he believes it has resulted in his exceptional form of late which has seen him score twice in both of his last two games.
“Even though I was in South Africa representing my country, which made me very proud, I did not forget Wigan and the relegation battle,” he added.
“I spoke to the manager before I went and the club devised a fitness programme for me.
“After each training session, I would go into the gym to keep my fitness levels high.
“I only played one 90 minutes against Algeria in a group game, so that I was not tired when I came back, like a lot of the other players.”
Despite establishing himself in the English top-flight, Kone insists he will remain grounded and that helping his extended family remains his priority.
“I said then that I would always help my family," he went on to say.
"Although I must admit I could not tell you all their names because there must be at least 50 of them!
“My family are happy for me that I am playing in the Premier League with Wigan and they know it has always been a dream of mine to come to England.
“I don’t mind the weather, the winters in Belgium were good preparation.
“I am happy that I am helping the team and I want to do my bit to make sure we stay in the Premier League.”