Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has revealed he found it hard to adapt to English football but is now happy with his current form.
The Germany international arrived at the Emirates on a frenzied transfer deadline day in August that also saw the likes of Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun sign on in North London.
The rush of last-minute deals - signed using the cash from the sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri - disrupted the Arsenal line-up in the opening weeks of the season.
Mertesacker, who was pitched straight into the starting XI, struggled in his early appearances, while the Gunners slipped down to 17th place in the Premier League table at one stage.
However, the 27-year-old began to rediscover his best form as the season progressed - something matched by the squad as a whole.
Heading into the final day of the season, Arsenal are hoping to secure third and a place in next season's UEFA Champions League with a win at West Brom.
Reflecting on his first year in England, Mertesacker revealed he is pleased with the way things have gone, albeit after a difficult start.
"Sometimes I felt like it was very hard, especially when I first came here," Mertesacker told the club's official website.
"It was tough to settle down [and I was] very quickly into the first squad. There was sometimes a lack of performance but I think you have to go through that to improve yourself.
"I am very comfortable here now, and very proud to be with this club.
"In general you are playing the best players in the world. You always have to perform at a high level.
"It is at a constant level and that is what makes the Premier League so good and so sharp."