After serving to Brestois keep in Ligue 1, Romain Perraud set his sights on the Premier League. A season and a half later, the left-back resides a daydream in Southampton, the place he’s beginning to make his mark. Sophisticated acclimatization, its click on and the rescue on Cristiano Ronaldo, the Toulousain doesn’t evade any topic. Upkeep.
In January-February 2021 I used to be approached by Leeds and Southampton. From there, I let my brokers take care of it. In my view, I strive above all to give attention to what I’ve to do with Brest. We play the upkeep, nicely because it ought to as well as, so I ensure that to not dwell an excessive amount of on these solicitations. My first mission was to depart the Stade Brestois in Ligue 1. Afterwards, every thing was nicely pinned, the exchanges accelerated in the direction of the month of April. It was a really disturbing finish to the season.
Why did you select Southampton?
It was Leeds who contacted me first, however the negotiations stopped fairly instantly. Southampton was very heat, the undertaking instantly seduced me. The membership appeared to me structured, fairly wholesome, and the philosophy of play suited me. Then the membership’s recruiter advised me that he had seen me play 52 occasions, that gave me confidence.
“The recruiter from Southampton advised me that he had seen me play 52 occasions, that gave me confidence. »
You appeared very marked once you left Finistère…
Clearly, it was laborious to depart Brest. There was a real emotional, sentimental connection with this membership. I bear in mind the video that I despatched on the group to all the chums within the locker room to announce my departure. I had wonderful relations at Stade Brestois, whether or not it was the supervisor, the physiotherapist and even the sports activities director Greg Lorenzi. I felt actually good there, and I would not have bothered to remain both. However taking part in within the Premier League was a childhood dream. When the proposal arrived, for me it was clear, I wished to strive my luck on this legendary championship and never miss the boat.
What stood out to you essentially the most throughout your first weeks in England?
The depth of the exercises impressed me. In my recreation, I am used to placing it on, however over there, the spirit of competitors is one thing fairly loopy. I felt like I had arrived in one other universe, there was no present. The English don’t even know the existence of Brest. I did not have time to acclimatize. The actual shock is my first recreation at Goodison Park with the followers again. The primary 15-20 minutes, I swallow the trumpet, I am fully burned, it is going too quick. I noticed that I used to be going to want time to adapt to this championship.
Quite the opposite, what may disappoint you?
I got here from Brest, a household membership the place there was actual chemistry. All of the gamers acquired alongside nicely, we had been collectively on a regular basis, consuming, watching the Champions League, even on weekends. In England, instantly, it was not the identical factor. It is as should you had been going to work for a bit. It is extra work colleagues, and once more, amongst Saints, it is nonetheless household, however the distinction is there. Everybody shares their moments with their family members, however with out openings to create an actual group environment. It is a new mode of operation for me.
How was your acclimatization?
Final yr was fairly difficult, particularly with the Covid-19. Christmas and New 12 months, I used to be alone as a result of no one may come to England due to the restrictions. However afterwards, it is in these moments that you just put your thoughts to the take a look at, the place you construct your self as a person. You must know learn how to spherical your again and create a shell. That is what I have been making an attempt to do since I began my profession.
“In France once we spend money on you, you play. Throughout the Channel, it isn’t the identical story, you do not have time. »
In your first season, you had been capable of play 23 video games. That is greater than ample for a Premier League discovery, is not it?
It is already good. Once you arrive within the Premier League, regardless of the worth of your switch, it’s not paid a lot consideration, because the positions are doubled, even tripled. I feel total I realized lots, whether or not on the pitch or on the bench. Some matches had been difficult, however the outcomes for me are constructive.
When did you have got the press?
I used to be going by a troublesome interval firstly of 2021, my head was on the backside of the bucket. I used to be not a starter, I had simply arrived and we’re going to play at Tottenham. We win 3-2 there, I handle to be decisive, and the group is doing nicely. It is actually a aid for me, I had lastly managed to floor, it is a pivotal second on this season. My first reference match in opposition to a giant league participant.
How did you expertise the competitors?
In England, it’s exacerbated. In France, once we spend money on you, you play. Throughout the Channel, it isn’t the identical story, you do not have time. You miss one or two video games, you file on the bench, and it’s important to settle for it. You’ve gotten solely two options in this type of case: both you hand over fully and also you attempt to break up after six months, otherwise you grit your enamel. After that, it’s important to know learn how to seize the alternatives. Just lately, my team-mate Tino Livramento was injured, I used to be deeply unhappy for him as a result of I do not take into consideration my face, it’s important to be human, however that is a part of the sport and competitors, that is it.
Are you shut sufficient to Sékou Mara and Ibrahima Diallo?
It is at all times simpler between French individuals, even when we attempt to converse as a lot English as attainable with everybody. We have now a pure connection that implies that we regularly meet on the desk, we discuss lots and we assist one another as a lot as attainable. We’re fortunate to be a whole lot of French audio system, so when one in every of us wants recommendation, we assist one another lots. When Sékou arrived, we gave him the tackle of our hairdresser, the locations to go on the town and the most effective neighborhoods to calm down.
— Southampton FC France (@SouthamptonFCFR) January 11, 2022
This season, you have got already planted two targets and supplied two assists. Do you’re feeling such as you’ve handed a milestone?
The stats are essential, however my first function is to defend nicely as a result of I am on the aspect. But it surely’s clear that once you rating, once you move, it helps you free your self. Thus far, it is going nicely for me. I’m going by levels as I’m going.
How did it really feel to attain your first Premier League objective?
It is robust. On the time, you get an actual adrenaline rush, particularly because it was at dwelling. The entire stadium is exploding, it is unbelievable. It is a cocktail stuffed with constructive feelings, and also you need to style it once more.
You drew in opposition to leaders Arsenal. Are you able to come again to this assembly?
We went by an advanced interval with 4 consecutive losses. There have been fairly a couple of tremors across the membership. This draw at dwelling in opposition to the Gunners places a stamp on our group’s progress. For the primary 20 minutes they tried to knock us down, however we had a unbelievable response. We confirmed good issues, and once you draw in opposition to the leaders at dwelling, that you just managed to beat Chelsea, it reveals that we’re a boring group to play.
“For me, in our recreation and in the best way the membership thinks in regards to the objective, it needs to be 9e on the 12e sq.. »
It is going to be ten years because the Saints returned to the Premier League. Lately, the 15e place sticks to the pores and skin of the membership. Do you assume you’ll be able to go larger?
It is so aggressive that you have already got to achieve 40 factors. It’s boat, however it’s essential to be maintained above all and extra if affinities. For me, in our recreation and in the best way the membership thinks in regards to the objective, it needs to be 9e on the 12e sq.. It isn’t unimaginable.
Once you have a look at the paths taken, what do you say to your self?
When you have got ambition, you keep away from trying within the rear view mirror, however every so often, when your spirits are down, it feels good to be happy with your self. That is what I attempt to do. I’ve a fairly atypical profession path, I used to be within the French group in Colomiers, then I struggled in Good… however once I see all that I’ve achieved, my solely want is to do every thing to show mistaken to individuals who wouldn’t have guess a greenback on me.
Do you have got a task mannequin in soccer?
After I was little, I used to be a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, he was like an idol. I bear in mind, my first recollections of soccer, it was at Euro 2004 the place Portugal misplaced within the closing in opposition to Greece, I wore his Manchester United shirt on my shoulders. In the present day, it is totally different, I nonetheless observe the groups I idolized, however I particularly watch the gamers in my place, like Robertson from Liverpool, to progress.
What can be totally different is that now the balls that Ronaldo tries to place behind the web, you cease them…
It is a sick story. After I acquired dwelling, I mentioned to myself that there was solely soccer to supply these stunning tales. You’ll be able to think about, for my first match at Outdated Trafford, I understand this rescue, it is a reminiscence that may stay engraved ceaselessly.
Interview by Thomas Morlec