Daryl Janmaat has claimed he had to leave Newcastle United – for the sake of his international career.
Fans on Tyneside haven't forgiven Janmaat for leaving the club in the wake of relegation to the Championship in 2016.
Janmaat – who had missed the last weeks of the season after punching a wall at Southampton's St Mary's Stadium – joined this afternoon's FA Cup opponents Watford after just two years at St James's Park.
The Holland international – who had a strong first season at Newcastle – was booed by United fans at Vicarage Road for the Premier League meeting between the two clubs last month.
And Janmaat is likely to be given a hot reception at his former home if he plays in the fourth-round tie.
Speaking to Watford's official website ahead of the game, the 29-year-old said: "I have been up there and I have played against them at home, but it’s always good to go back to Newcastle.
“It’s a great club, and I really enjoyed being a part of it.
“I left when Newcastle United were relegated, but it was nothing personal.
“The national team manager at the time (Danny Blind) told me I had to be playing in the Premier League, and that was very important to me, so that was the main reason.
“I still think Newcastle is a great club and the fans are so passionate.
“It’s a big club with huge potential, and I was very happy when they came back up to the top level. Hopefully, they can keep progressing.”