Linganzi: I owe Pompey a huge debt

Amine Linganzi on the stage on Southsea Common as Pompey celebrate their League Two title success Picture: Joe Pepler
Amine Linganzi on the stage on Southsea Common as Pompey celebrate their League Two title success Picture: Joe Pepler
Noel Hunt, centre. Picture: Joe Pepler

Released Pompey title-winner on verge of new club

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Amine Linganzi believes Pompey saved his career.

The Blues midfielder has told of the lows he’s been through which sent him to the brink of hanging up his boots.

Linganzi thanked the Blues for rescuing him from a footballing hell in France.

The 27-year-old was left on the scrapheap at amateur outfit Fréjus Saint-Raphaël after leaving Gillingham in 2015.

That saw the powerhouse sink to lows which led to him being on the point of quitting the game.

Pompey assistant manager Leam Richardson engineered a move to Fratton Park, however, to take Linganzi out of a dark period.

And nine months on he’s a League Two champion for Paul Cook’s men.

Linganzi knows he owes his club a debt of gratitude for getting his career back on track.

He said: ‘I’ve been struggling for six, seven or eight years of my career.

‘It was really tough sometimes when I was at home watching games. It was tough.

‘I’d be at home crying on my own. I was really low.

‘Last season I was at Fréjus Saint-Raphaël. They treated me really badly and I was down. It was eight months it was going on for and they hated me. It was really, really hard for me.

‘I became so low that I was thinking about stopping playing football. It was deep down that I was sad, but I decided that I couldn’t give up.

‘It was hard, but I feel that I have been given a gift and that’s for a purpose. I didn’t want to waste it.

‘So I prepared myself and told my wife I wanted to go back to England.

‘I went to many top guys in France and clubs and they said no chance. There’s nothing.

‘I told my wife the only chance I had was Leam Richardson.

‘I knew him from Accrington so I called him. He told me to come along for pre-season and I came here.

‘I think it saved my career.’

Linganzi enjoyed the most fruitful campaign of his pro life at the Blues last term.

A return of 23 appearances is the most the former Blackburn man has made in one season.

Linganzi feels Richardson, in particular, deserves his appreciation.

‘There are tests and my test came last season,’ he added.

‘I stood firm and brave and it gave me strength.

‘I’ve had no bad injuries and I’ve played quite a few games compared to before.

‘So I’m really, really thankful to Leam and the staff.

‘If you see where I was previously, I hadn’t played a lot of games for my age.

‘So I’m really, really thankful for Leam, Robbie (Blake) and the gaffer for giving me a chance.

‘Today I feel complete at Portsmouth.

‘I have my wife and son and a life in Portsmouth. I like the players and I have nothing to complain about. I have everything to move forward.’