Brighton defender George Cox is passing his days playing video games and walking his dogs after being left stranded in Holland due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 22-year-old made 21 Eredivisie appearances during a loan spell with Fortuna Sittard before the Dutch league was suspended following the outbreak of Covid-19.
Cox was told on Monday that he and girlfriend Britney could return to England but, after booking a Channel Tunnel crossing, the French border was closed, while he is unable to fly home because of his two pet dogs.
“It would have been nice to get home and help look after the elder members of our family,” he told Albion’s website.
“My grandad Roy is in his 90s and in a care home in Brighton and my mum can’t see him at the moment because of the restrictions.
“There are a lot of nationalities in our squad and we were told we could go home at the start of the week.
“But the French border was closed on Monday night and obviously we can’t fly back with the dogs and in any case most of the flights are cancelled now anyway.”
Cox, who played five Sky Bet League Two games on loan at Northampton last season, is yet to make his senior debut for the Premier League Seagulls.
He scored his maiden professional goal during Fortuna’s 1-1 draw with PEC Zwolle on March 6, the club’s final match before fixtures were postponed.
“There’s a 6pm curfew in Holland at the moment and everything closes then, even places like McDonald’s,” he continued.
“In Sittard, we have a flat in the town centre and there are always fairs and markets on so it’s a busy place, but even they have been cancelled.
“There is a big woodland park nearby and we can go there with the dogs – they have never been walked so much!
“I went out and bought PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch so I’ve got things that will keep me occupied but, like every player, I’d much rather be training and playing.
“But I think we all have to accept that it’s going to be a while before things return to normal.”