Burnley's Johann Berg Gudmundsson felt his days of playing Premier League football were numbered
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The Icelander, who had replaced Jay Rodriguez in North London with just seven minutes remaining, missed the back end of the season having undergone an appendectomy before sustaining a calf injury in training.
From that moment, with results going against the Clarets, the former AZ Alkmaar and Charlton Athletic ace believed he was watching his career waste away right before his very eyes.
"There were some dark times at the end of last season," recalled an emotional Gudmundsson. "I told my family that it was probably going to be my last season in the Premier League. It's tough to talk about it.
"It was a bit of an unknown going into the season with a lot of players leaving. You never knew what was going to happen. I had injuries and not a lot of time on the pitch.
"I wasn't sure what was going to happen, but the staff have come in and what they've done for me is fantastic. I'm extremely lucky that I'm going back to the Premier League."
Gudmundsson signed a new contract In January in a deal which will keep him at Turf Moor until the summer of 2024 with the option of a further year.
It was the reassurance Burnley's number seven needed following the periods of doubt that had weighed heavily on his mind.
Now he has the opportunity to return to the top flight and add to the 136 appearances and nine goals he amassed at the highest level.
After making 20 starts this season, and netting his first brace for the club in the Easter Monday victory over Sheffield United, he continued: “I want to play in the best league in the world!
"That’s the Premier League and luckily we are there now, so that’s where I want to test myself again and with the different style of football, which is going to be interesting.
"I think we'll be ready, we'll have a good pre-season, and we're going to be on everything. Behind the scenes, with what the staff do to analyse the opposition etc, it'll be on point. I believe we'll be absolutely fine.
"I think we can achieve a lot. The way we play football is enjoyable, you can see the success, but we know that in the Premier League we have to limit the mistakes.
"We know we want to play out, but you've got fantastic players in the Premier League that can punish you. As long as we limit our mistakes I think we'll be fine."