Alvaro Negredo enjoying Prem challenge
Alvaro Negredo is relishing the competitive and physical nature of the Premier League since joining Manchester City.
• Curtis: Polish connection
Negredo, 28, joined City from La Liga side Sevilla for 20 million pounds this summer, and has already scored three goals in seven games, illustrating that he is adapting quickly to his new surroundings.
He told El Pais: “It is another football, another philosophy, another way of seeing things. And I have enjoyed a lot discovering it. It is different in organisation, in experience, the style of play, the intensity.
“Everyone gets stuck in but without malice. There is a lot of contact, you use your body and the referee whistles only if it is very serious. But it is very honest.
“There are fewer rows because it is the law of life -- I give it out, you get up and it’s fine we keep playing. Everything is more intense, there is not as much possession, they come for you, they do not waste time thinking about it.”
He added: “In England anybody can beat you, while here [in Spain] it is very difficult for one of the big teams to lose. English football is a way of playing, an attitude and huge demands, I love it.”
Negredo, who scored 31 times for Sevilla last season, has only started four games for City but has already mustered four goals for his new club.
And he said manager Manuel Pellegrini has told him to be a target man.
He explained: “We have [David] Silva and [Samir] Nasri on one side, and [Jesus] Navas and [James] Milner, more direct, on the other. Pellegrini asks me to battle, to link up with team-mates, and to be in the area.”
Negredo hopes his fine form for City will enable him to see off the challenge of a host of other contenders and earn him the spot as Spain’s striker for the World Cup.
He has scored nine times in 18 appearances for his country but with Michu, Pedro Rodriguez, Roberto Soldado, Fernando Llorente and the experienced pair of Fernando Torres and David Villa also in the frame Negredo knows he must keep scoring.
“There is a lot of competition. If I stay fit I will have a better chance,” he said. “Then it depends on my work and the coach. I always want to be there, and when I am not it is tough to take. But it takes a lot to be Spain’s No. 9, and there are always more players coming up from below. You must take advantage of your chances.”
The naturalised Brazilian Diego Costa, who won two caps for the country of his birth before changing allegiance, is another option and Negredo is adamant he will not complain if the Atletico Madrid forward plays for Spain.
“I do not care about nationality, and his character is a gift,” he said. “He is a player who I love, for his battling with the defenders, his power, his ability to finish. It does not surprise me that Del Bosque is thinking about him.”