SAINTS defender Lyanco has issued a statement in which he opens up about his struggles with anxiety and panic attacks.

The Brazillian has spent the past season playing first-team football on loan at Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa.

His side finished third in the Qatari Stars League and were knocked out of the Emir Cup via penalties in the semi-final.

In a brave statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, the 27 year old explained how he takes medication every day to combat his anxiety.

He said: "End of season. Personally, a season full of challenges, both at the club and also in life, because of everything I've been through and am going through due to anxiety and panic attacks.

"(I am) taking medication every day to be able to do my best and I'm not afraid to talk about this or ashamed.

"I, my family and those close to me know how much I struggle with this and how much I can help someone who is going through the same thing.

"I'm VERY proud of everyone, it was a sensational year, fighting for the title, fighting for cups.

"I want to thank all the players, club staff, masseurs, directors, president and ALL the fans, you were amazing.

"It was a pleasure being with you, living with you, fighting for you. Now (I) take a vacation and leave the future in God's hands!"

Lyanco has previously pledged his support to locals Southampton's community. In 2021, he helped raise awareness for a fundraiser in aid of the Neonatal units at Princess Anne Hospital.

He invited the parents of Reggie and Evan, two youngsters who were born in the unit, into his home and donated items for the fundraiser.