TWO unsuccessful seasons in England could have been enough to put any young foreign player off playing in the Premier League, but not Javier Manquillo.

The 23-year-old Spaniard is enjoying life at Newcastle United, where he moved in the summer to join Rafael Benitez’s revolution after two tough stints at Liverpool and Sunderland.

It was only last season when Manquillo endured a torrid time on Wearside. As well as struggling to hold down a first team shirt under David Moyes, he was unable to prevent Sunderland from dropping into the Championship during his season-long loan from Atletico Madrid.

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Rather than head for home remembering how he also struggled to make an impact at Liverpool a couple of years earlier, the versatile full-back didn’t need a second invitation to stay in the North-East – and the top-flight – by moving to Newcastle.

This time it is a permanent arrangement. The three-year deal he was handed by Benitez could well have played a part, but he has not looked out of his depth even if there is still room for improvement.

Manquillo said: “I knew it was a massive move for me and a huge club I was joining. I was set on the move as soon as Rafa called me. I knew this would be a big step in my career, allowing me to progress. I am really happy to be here.

“When I went to Liverpool, it was my first big step and I was very young back then. And when I went to Sunderland, it was a very tough season for us.

“In football you never know what is going to happen in the future. You can have a really bad time and then it can quickly turn around and fortunately, that’s what has happened with me. I knew I had to join Newcastle and that we could have some good times.

“But this time last year, I could never have imagined I would be signing for Newcastle. It was a big surprise when I got the call from Rafa. It’s the right move for me.

“I did not join Newcastle just because it was the North-East and I was settled here. As a professional footballer, that should not matter. Whether you are in the North-East or London.

“The reason I came here was because I knew Newcastle was a big club. During a career, you can experience so many highs and lows.”

Having a Spanish speaking coaching staff leading him has clearly helped Manquillo settle, but he will still not forget what happened at Sunderland and believes it will help to become a better player.

Manquillo, speaking ahead of today’s visit of Bournemouth, said: “Sunderland was really tough but like everything in life, you learn from things that have gone wrong.

“In a way, that difficult year made me a better player. I think I have progressed and now I am just concentrating on doing well for Newcastle. Everyone knows Rafa is a great manager and I knew he would help me become a better player.

“There is a big Spanish influence here and that certainly helps. Coach, trainers, some of my teammates. That makes life so much easier for me. It benefits in so many ways.”