Bryan Gil admits that he struggled with the physicality of the Premier League and his lack of game time under Antonio Conte at Tottenham Hotspur, speaking to AS, writes the HITC.
It’s never easy for a young player adapting to life on English soil. Especially when he’s arrived from a competition which, compared to the breakneck speed of the Premier League, must almost feel like walking football at times.
Gil, as summer signing from Sevilla, wasn’t helped by the sudden departure of Nuno Espirito Santo either. Especially with his successor, Antonio Conte, favouring a 3-4-2-1 formation that doesn’t really suit an old-school winger like the silky Spain international.
But the former Eibar talisman already looks back to his balletic best in familiar surroundings, setting up Carlos Soler’s goal against Barcelona recently with a pinpoint cross from the left-hand side.
“Every player needs to have continuity, to feel important. Here, at Valencia, I feel (important) from the first day,” Gil explains.
“Not playing affects you on a day-to-day basis, obviously, because you are sadder and more downcast. But it is part of football and you have to accept it.
“In the Premier League, training sessions are very physical, very hard. And that has helped me not to feel fatigue now.
“The adaptation, for me, was difficult. It is very physical football. Back and forth. Being there has been good for me, even if I didn’t play as much as I wanted. I’m more mature.
“I changed habits like eating. I had a chef at home and I gained two kilos. Even so, I noticed that it was not enough for the physical level that exists in the Premier League.”
With Valencia putting their faith in the so-called ‘Beatle of Barbate’, Gil already looks like a man reborn. All You Need is Love, after all.
Tottenham opted against including a purchase clause in his contract, however, with Gil expected to return and fight for his place under Conte at the end of this season.
“At Valencia, I continue to work hard on endurance, physicality, in case I have to come back,” the 21-year-old adds. ‘To be prepared.
“I belong to Tottenham and they are the ones who have to decide (my future). It’s not up to me. (Whether I stay at Valencia) will depend on the clubs.”