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M'Baye Niang

Niang will 'work like a dog' to return to the top after AC Milan exit

15:05 GMT+3 30/03/2017
Niang - Cropped
The San Siro club have moved on from the attacker, but he insists he will play for a major European club once again

M'Baye Niang says he will "work like a dog" at Watford to ensure he returns to the highest level after opening up on his exit from AC Milan.

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Milan loaned the forward to Watford in January and the Premier League side reportedly hold an option to make the switch permanent for £13.5million.

Niang is open in acknowledging he is using his time with Walter Mazzarri's side to ensure he once again plays for a top club in the future.

"I know I was at Milan, but sometimes you have to take a step down to come back stronger," he told The Guardian.

"I was at a big club, playing with big players. Now I have come here because, obviously, I need to learn more. So I will get my head down and work like a dog. If I do that then I will return to the top level again.

"I have always lived by the principle that, whatever happens, it is never about 'failure'. It is about learning so you can improve and return to the top. 

"So I am here, playing in the best league in the world and enjoying a fresh challenge. That isn't a sign of failure. I have joined a good club, a good team in the Premier League.

"I have real opportunities still ahead of me. If I do everything I can, I am convinced I will improve and succeed.

"Now it is about working, getting that consistency and I hope that will allow me to find my way back to a big club. Voila."

The 22-year-old discussed his Milan exit, saying regular changes of manager at San Siro and his loan spells did not make it easy for him to establish himself.

Niang said: "It wasn't that my relationship with Milan broke down, but maybe I did need a change. My career needed it. We both recognised that. 

"I needed a fresh start. I had seasons at Milan when I played, and others when I didn't and was out on loan at Montpellier and Genoa

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"They changed managers so often since I joined them and, not wishing to make excuses, it does not make life easy for a young player if the coach is always changing. And, of course, football is all about hitting that level all the time, and I wasn't consistent enough. Maybe that is what counted against me most of all."

Niang has started six league games for Watford, scoring once against Burnley last month.