Asier Illarramendi has conceded that there will be a tough fight for opportunities in Real Madrid’s midfield this season, according to Yahoo! Sports.
The Spanish defensive midfielder, who was signed from Real Sociedad by Los Blancos earlier this summer for £27.7m, has been touted as a future replacement for Xabi Alonso, but knows competition for a position in Madrid’s midfield will be fierce.
Illarramendi will be up against the likes of Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira and Luka Modric in his bid for first-team football, and admits it may take time to establish himself.
The 23-year-old, said: "I still have a long way to go to get into the starting team, which is very difficult in a team like this, but I'll try.
“I concentrate on playing, I have very good people around me and I am very happy to play with them.”
The midfielder spoke to reporters following his Madrid debut against Bournemouth. Madrid won the match 6-0.
Illarramendi also went on record with his thoughts on head coach Carlo Ancelotti, stating: “he is very close with the players and has a good relationship with us. I like that sort of coach."
Fellow new-boy Daniel Carvajal was also quick to praise his new manager, and believes Madrid’s stance of bringing in young Spanish players will pay dividends.
“The coach is quiet and gives us conviction and confidence. This first week has been great," he commented. “We are a young team with a low average age. Spanish players have been brought in this year and I’m sure it will work out well.”
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