Newcastle United striker Demba Ba has revealed he was rejected by Barnsley and Watford earlier in his career.
The Senegal international moved to England to join West Ham from Hoffenheim in January, and has now moved to St James’ Park following the Hammers’ relegation to the Championship.
But the forward says he was not offered deals by Barnsley and Watford, as well as Swansea, when he was looking for a move to Britain as a youngster.
He was quoted as saying by The Mirror: “When I was young and looking for a club, I went to Watford for a couple of months and I learned a hell of a lot. I hoped to get a contract, but it didn’t work out. I was upset but I didn’t want to give up. I had always wanted to play in English football.
“I went to Swansea and Barnsley looking again. I did my best. I tried to make those clubs take me but it didn’t work out, and after a few months I had to go back to France.
"I never gave up.
“It helps that I have had to work hard to get where I am now, at this great club. I have had setbacks. Everything happens in life for a reason, good and bad.
“It has worked out well for me to think I was turned down by Swansea and Barnsley and now I am playing for a club as big as Newcastle!”
Ba looked set to move to Stoke City in January from Hoffenheim, but he joined West Ham after failing his medical at the Britannia Stadium following a problem with his knee.
“Stoke was not a good club for me! I do not have any regrets about that," he said. "A week later, I had signed for West Ham.
“People will talk about my knee all my life. I will prove there is no problem by playing well and scoring goals. Let them talk.
"I am fit and healthy. They will only stop asking about it if they see me playing and scoring goals.
"Look at the stats from West Ham last season. I will let my football do the talking.”
Ba is relishing his opportunity to play for the Magpies this season, and is looking to live his boyhood dream.
He added: “Since I was young, I was only excited watching English football. It has always been better for me to watch two mid-table English teams playing, than the best sides in Italy of Spain. It was always exciting.
"Germany helped me a lot as well. At Hoffenheim, we played a quick tempo where we pressed hard.
“I knew Newcastle were interested towards the end of last season but I didn’t pay attention because I was in trouble with West Ham.
"When I came back from holiday I asked my brother what is the best offer. He said, 'Newcastle United' and that was it, I had made up my mind.
“I don’t set targets, but top 10 would be good. We would like us to do better what we did last season.”