Louis Tomlinson didn't feel like he ''had a solid place'' in One Direction.

The 27-year-old singer admits that on occasions he questioned what he was contributing'' to the boy band - which at first consisted of him, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Zayn Malik - and although he tried to ''be the most prolific writer'' in the group he always felt as though he was ''treading water''.

In an interview with The I Paper, he said: ''I always pushed for the band to write as much as we could. Probably two years in, I felt like I was treading water a bit. I didn't really feel like I had a solid place - what was I contributing? There were some sad times like that, so I said to myself, 'I wanna pick myself up and be the most prolific writer in the band.'''

The 'Back to You' hitmaker co-wrote over 30 One Direction songs including 'Steal My Girl' and 'Perfect' before the band went on hiatus in 2016.

Louis - like all the other members - has embarked on a solo career and he insists that his participation in the group's songwriting was a ''real big step'' for his self-esteem.

He explained: ''At awards shows, or even in our performances, I could take real credit outside of whatever my contribution was to any particular song. Just having an involvement in the songwriting was a real big step in terms of me building my confidence.''

The 'Miss You' singer acted as a judge on 'The X Factor' in 2018 and was the only member of the band to stick with Simon Cowell's record label Syco after they disbanded.

Liam said: ''Without being too soppy, loyalty is really important to me. And the reality is, I wouldn't be sat here if it wasn't for Simon.

''Staying with him was kind of the obvious decision for me. He did all right with One Direction, didn't he?''