Read about Isaac Mbenza’s time in the UK so far ahead of Saturday’s trip to Burnley
- Belgium U21 international discusses life in England
- htafc.com speaks to Isaac Mbenza ahead of Burnley clash
- Find out how he is settling into life in West Yorkshire
Upping sticks and moving to a new country is a quite the normality for the modern-day footballer, but rarely do you hear how the players are adapting to life off-the-field.
Isaac Mbenza made the move to Town from French side Montpellier in the summer in the second country change already in his blossoming career.
The 22-year-old was born in Saint-Denis; a suburb of the French Capital, where he spent the early years of his life before moving to Belgium as a five-year-old.
“I lived in Paris for just five years and I have no memories of this time.
“Football started for me in Belgium when I was nine years old where I started playing football on the streets with friends and at home.”
Mbenza shared insight on his footballing career to date discussing how he made the transition into professional football.
“I played junior football for a small club called Stockel, I played there for five years and then I moved to FC Brussels at 15 for just one year and then made the move to my first professional club.
“I played there for one year and then moved to France to play for Valenciennes.”
As a young footballer from France, there’s only really one player that Town’s number 18 can aspire towards when growing up.
“Thierry Henry” suggested Mbenza.
“He’s my favourite and I like his skill, mentality and charisma – it is so nice, I love that”
Having lived in both France and Belgium, there have been a few standout changes that the Belgian Under-21 international has noticed since his move to West Yorkshire.
“It is different because in France it’s a different language, the money is different, and they drive on the right side of the road in France and it’s the left over here – it is so different!”
“This life is nice, and the people are more open, it’s a good city and just like France, it is nice.”
Away from the Training Ground, rest is high on the agenda for most footballers, but the pacey attacker has used some of his free time to better acclimatise and venture into the town since making the loan switch to Town in August.
“I rest in my room and sleep a lot of the time. I sometimes head out and go to a restaurant and shopping. I tried Thai food for the first-time last week – it was so nice!
“It is so different, English food is nice, but I always prefer eating French food. My favourite type of food is Italian, and I really like spaghetti.”
Mbenza came on as second-half substitute in the game against Spurs and will be looking to make an impact as Town travel to face Burnley on Saturday in the final game before the October international break.