Rui Fonte believes his difficult time at Arsenal as a youngster has made him "mentally stronger" and is grateful for the opportunity, despite its hardships.
The 27-year-old signed for the Gunners in 2006, when he was just 16-years-old, making the move from Sporting, a club he had been at since he was nine, but found the going tough, making only one appearance in the League Cup before being sent on loan to Crystal Palace.
Moving country is hard at any age, let alone at 16, and Fonte believes he was too young to make such a move, especially to one of the biggest clubs in the country.
However, the striker is grateful for the time he spent at the club as it increased his mental strength, something he has put to use in his future career as Braga captain and now as a Fulham man.
He said: "It's a different time now, I was 16 and stayed there until I was 19 - it was good but it was difficult because I was too young.
"When you're that young, if you're not strong enough mentally it gets real tough when the hard times come but now I'm 27, it's been a long time since then.
"It was a good thing for my career to get mentally strong however.
"There's a few more teams that now try and play differently than the typical English football but it's still a great Championship because anyone can beat anyone."