Scott Sinclair wants to feel at home again. And the Albion new-boy is looking to start the settling-in process at The Hawthorns on Sunday by biting the hand that once fed him.
In one of football’s delicious coincidences, Sinclair is poised to make his Premier League Baggies debut against the club that gave him his first big break in the top flight.
And the 24-year-old today revealed his desire to put down roots at The Hawthorns while lifting the lid on a frustrating season at Manchester City and his clash with former boss Roberto Mancini.
In two years at The Liberty Stadium, Sinclair brought some stability to a career that had seen him play for seven previous clubs but fail to chalk up about a dozen starts for anyone.
He helped the Swans to win promotion from the Championship in 2011 and scored the Welsh club’s maiden Premier League goal – against Albion in September 2011.
But the lure of City last summer was too good to resist and the £6m buy had an infuriating year, although he does not regret the decision to move. “I’m so frustrated that I didn’t get any chance to show the City fans and everyone at the club what I’m about,” he said.
“I knew it was going to be difficult to get into the team. I made my choice and I got my head down and never kicked up a fuss. It’s a decision I made and I don’t regret it.
“Everyone wants to be playing Champions League football and be at a top club. I was playing every week at Swansea and enjoying my football, but I was ambitious enough to try to improve myself.
“Sometimes in football the chances don’t come around again.
“I have three years on my contract and I could have just sat there and not been bothered, but I am young and still hungry to play football. That’s why I’ve had so many loan deals.
“I really hope I can settle in here now and have a great start from Sunday onwards and help the Albion to win games – and if I’m happy enough, then hopefully I can stay longer.”
Sinclair made just three starts at City, bringing him into conflict with Mancini. And, while the exact politics remain a mystery, the wideman clearly now has doubts about the Etihad chief’s desire to sign him in the first place.
“I even said to him: ‘Why did you bring me in if you’re not going to give me a chance?’ and he couldn’t really answer. We had our differences, but that’s football.”
Now Sinclair is looking to recreate at The Hawthorns the feeling he enjoyed at Swansea. And the man who has hit the headlines as the on-off boyfriend of former Coronation Street actress Helen Flanagan is seeking a quiet house in the country.
He insisted his appearances at the front of newspapers had no bearing on his written-off year at City.
“Your personal life has got nothing to do with anyone at the club,” he said. “I conducted myself in a very good way when I was at City.
“Once I’m back playing and being happy, I won’t be too bothered what people write about my personal life.
“I want a house out of the way and not in the centre so I can concentrate on my football and going home and being humble.
“I haven’t played against Swansea since I left. I will always love the club and the fans down there. They were amazing to me.”