'A good surprise' - Midfielder thankful for warm welcome from Canaries fans

Albert Sambi Lokonga of Arsenal and Pierre Lees-Melou of Norwich in action during the Premier League

Pierre Lees-Melou has started all four of Norwich City's games in the Premier League so far this season - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Pierre Lees-Melou has been surprised by just how friendly the people of Norfolk and Norwich City fans have been as he settles into English life following his summer move from France.

The 28-year-old was signed from Nice after deciding to take on the Premier League challenge, swapping the French Riviera for the rural charms of East Anglia.

Lees-Melou admits he's been too busy to explore too much yet but said: “There’s has been no time to visit but we have gone once or twice into the city and it is nice, we love that. 

“My girlfriend and I have been so surprised with the spirit of the English people. They are so nice that when we go to the supermarket they recognise our accent and they understand that we are not English. 

“They help us and are so nice, so this is a good surprise for us.” 

The Frenchman has started all four of City's league matches so far this season as he strives to bring his top-flight quality and experience to Daniel Farke's midfield mix.

A 1-0 defeat at Arsenal on Saturday continued the brutal start to the campaign with a fourth successive defeat and Lees-Melou admits the pace of Premier League action is even more intense than he had expected.

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“It is different, it is more box to box and I am surprised with the referees," he explained.

“In England, the referees don’t whistle a lot. It’s not like in France, where there are more fouls and the referee stops the game often. 

“Here in the Premier League, the referee lets play continue all the time and there are not a lot of fouls, which is nice!” 

He is sure that Canaries fans haven't seen the best of him yet, after such a difficult opening month of fixtures against top teams.

Games against sides more likely to be direct rivals are approaching though, starting at home to Watford on Saturday and with Burnley, Brighton and Brentford during the six games which follow.

“I think I have shown my style to the fans and what I can do but I haven’t shown what I am capable of yet," he continued. 

“The first games were difficult and I prefer to score goals and assists, but it is the beginning and I think I need more time to adjust. 

“It’s a different league but I think it has been positive and I hope the fans like what they have seen.” 

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