Carles Gil has opened up about his first couple of weeks at Aston Villa in an interview with Spanish newspaper AS, revealing that the club have pulled out all the stops to help him settle in.
Signing from Valencia earlier this month for a reported £3.25 million fee, Gil made a promising debut as a second-half substitute in the 2-0 Premier League defeat to Liverpool, before earning his first start in the weekend’s FA Cup fourth-round tie against Bournemouth.
The Spanish midfielder soon underlined his potential with a stunning strike to seal a 2-1 win over the Championship side at Villa Park, which he puts down to the confidence the team have shown in him since arriving.
“I was already very happy with how they treated me and the confidence they had given me, but now much more having been able to score and help the team,” he said.
“Since the signing they have shown great confidence in me. From the beginning they have been very on top of things like sorting out an apartment, car and telephone, and that means I only have to worry about football.
“They are much more passionate fans and in general there is a great respect towards the players. They make me happy.”
Gil, 22, struggled to break into the Valencia line-up during the first half of the season but, after seeing compatriots David Silva, Santi Cazorla and Juan Mata all light up English football in recent campaigns, is hoping to become the league’s next great Spanish number 10.
“Fortunately the Spanish players are succeeding in England and those are the best examples,” he said. “But I just started and I must make my own way. Hopefully things continue to go this well and I can have as good a career as them.”
First, though, fans and the media alike will have to learn to pronounce his name, with the former Mestalla product joking: “They are still learning it and say 'Yil' instead of Gil. It is normal. The important thing is to support me as they are doing. It is appreciated.”
With a deal until 2019, Villa fans are hoping that Gil can become the long-term answer to their creative problems and, while there is just a limited sample size to work off so far, the signs are no doubt promising.