Moussa Sissoko admitted that he had been 'hurt' by Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino's team selections, but his exclusion from the Spurs and French national side drove him on to become the player he is today.
The 30-year-old had been a big part of Didier Deschamps' side which reached the Euro 2016 final, but he was
Sissoko has subsequently regained his place in the France squad, and during an interview with Les Parisien ahead of his side's Euro 2020 qualifying matches, the Spurs midfielder reiterated that he never considered leaving north London - even when times were particularly hard.
"I was aware of having a complicated year with Tottenham," he said. "The coach's choices hurt me, but it's the law of football. The only thing to do was to redouble efforts.
"To abandon everything would have been a descent into hell. I did not want to stay on a failure. I never thought of leaving Tottenham, it gave me even more the desire to do well."
Sissoko is now an important part of the Spurs side, and the midfield powerhouse played a vital role in the club's dramatic run to the Champions League final last season.
The former Newcastle man has started all four of Spurs' Premier League games this season, and he believes that his understanding of his deep-midfield role culminated in his best season yet as a professional footballer.
"It is often said that the best form of a player is between 28 and 30 years old. I did not believe it before, but I have certainly had my best season since playing football. I must continue to ride this wave.
"I have assimilated our possession game. It took time, but I like it there a lot."