Beram Kayal was inspired by Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his latest comeback from injury.

The plucky Albion midfielder used the Manchester United star as a role model during his recovery from the eighth operation of his career.

Kayal broke a leg in the final pre-season friendly against Atletico Madrid at the Amex in August, just six days before the Seagulls launched their debut campaign in the Premier League.

It sentenced the unlucky Israeli to another four months on the sidelines.

During his rehab Kayal posted an "amazing" video on his Instagram account of Ibrahimovic's fight to return from serious knee damage.

Both have been back in action and, although Ibrahimovic is currently ruled out again, Kayal is grateful for the example set by United's veteran Swedish striker.

Kayal told The Argus: "Everything he did every day, people need to learn from his winning mentality.

"For me, he's one of the best in the game, probably for the last 15 years he's proved it every year. More than the quality he has it's the winning mentality. "Everywhere he went – AC Milan, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juve, Paris St Germain - he brought a winning mentality.

"When you are winning and you are top of your game, everyone shows what Zlatan (below centre) does.

The Argus: "But I looked at what he did when he was injured and was not playing, the way he reacted and worked hard, the confidence he had to be back.

"It gave me a top model to look up to and learn from."

Kayal, 29, is accustomed to coping with adversity. He has dealt with one injury after another to play in the Champions League and now the Premier League.

His injury woes began at Maccabi Haifa with a hernia. At Celtic he suffered another hernia, a broken hand, a broken ankle and ligament damage, then a broken foot.

Since joining Albion from the Glaswegian giants in 2015, Kayal has been hit by another hernia, another ankle break last season and the fibula fracture against Atletico.

He refuses to give in to the catalogue of crippling setbacks. The happily married dad-of-two, who named son Pirlo after Italian legend Andrea Pirlo, said: "I really love the game.

"I love my family as well. But my family know that if I'm happy in football I'm happy in the house.

"Normally they say keep the missus happy and you'll have a happy life. But it's different in my situation! I need to be happy in football to be happy in the house.

"I like the game, I love the game, I love everything around it – the fans, the training, the competition. When I'm injured I really miss that.

"The drive I had from the family to want to be back. Thank God I'm fit now and ready to play. The way every operation went, the rehab got shorter.

"I was working extra time to get back quicker than expected. It's not easy. It's hard to explain how it feels when you are on top of your game and you get injured and you need to come back. But I'm lucky to be a footballer."

The Argus: All the hard work paid off for Kayal when he made his Premier League debut for Albion against Spurs at Wembley last month. He was also in the starting line-up at Chelsea on Boxing Day (above).

He said: "It was an amazing feeling. I feel like all the hard work I have done in my career, and in the last few months, to come back from injury meant something playing against these two teams on this stage.

"But it will mean a lot to me also now to improve every day and to play regularly. I don't want to be thinking just about playing against these two teams because I've played in the Champions League before, I've played against big clubs.

"Barcelona, AC Milan. It means a lot to play against Juventus too. But I never stopped dreaming and wanting to achieve more in my career."

Kayal scored on his comeback from last season's ankle break in the third round of the FA Cup against MK Dons at the Amex a year ago.

He hopes Monday's FA Cup tie against Crystal Palace, his first home start since Albion clinched promotion in April, will signal another upturn in fortunes.

"Of course," he said. "The main thing is to be ready when the gaffer asks me. I have played two tough games against Tottenham and Chelsea but I want more."