On-loan Marseille forward Florian Thauvin believes he was singled out for unfair criticism by Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer during his first few months at St James’ Park.
The France international moved to the Premier League in August, but struggled to make an impact and was loaned back to Marseille during the last transfer window.
Thauvin will spend the remainder of the season at the Stade Velodrome and revealed criticism from Shearer over arriving for a game against Watford in a tuxedo had impacted on him.
“In England, at each home game, you need to come to the stadium in a suit,” he told L’Equipe.
“It is the tradition. But on that day, Alan Shearer violently criticised me by saying that I was making myself out to be someone that I wasn’t, even though I was not the only one wearing a bowtie.
“Why me again? I would like to be left alone.”
Thauvin has endured a rocky return to Ligue 1, with Marseille coach Michel revealing the 23-year-old was “not the player I asked for” shortly after the loan move was completed.
A red card on his second debut for the club against Montpellier followed, but Thauvin maintains he can get his career back on track.
“I had a new experience, a new league, a new way of life,” he added. “It allowed me to reflect a little on the two years that I had at Marseille, to understand certain things.
“But I need to be left to play my football, to be left to work. I still have my entire career in front of me.
“If I manage to take the right turn now, I can reverse things. And you can still play football at a very high level after reaching 30. I must not put too much pressure on myself.”