Bryan Gil admits to struggling with physicality of Premier League

Tom Gott
Bryan Gil struggled in England
Bryan Gil struggled in England / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Bryan Gil has confessed that he found the physicality of the Premier League hard to deal with following his summer switch to Tottenham.

Gil joined Spurs from Sevilla last summer, with the English side paying over £20m and sending Erik Lamela the other way in exchange, but things didn't go to plan.

The tricky winger made 20 appearances in his first six months in England, but failed to start a single game in the Premier League and had just one assist in the Europa Conference League qualifier against Pacos de Ferreira to show for his efforts.

Now back on loan in Spain with Valencia, Gil explained to AS why he found life in England's top flight hard to deal with.

"[The physicality] is very noticeable, truly," he said. "It's a slightly higher level of intensity. I really noticed it physically.

"The adaptation for me was difficult. It's a very physical style of football, back and forth. But being there was good for me, even if I didn't play as much as I wanted, I have matured because of it.

"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. At Valencia, I continue to work hard on endurance, physicality, in case I have to come back, to be prepared."

Gil also stressed that his lack of consistent minutes did nothing to help his adaptation either.

"Every player needs and wants to have continuity, to feel important. Here in Valencia I am feeling it from the first day," he continued. "That shows on the field, in training, the attitude, you see football in a different light.

"You always have to be psyched up in case you have to live the other part, and I lived it in London. 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. And the experience in London has been good for me.

"Being in another country, playing in another league, going through complicated personal situations far from home... these are small steps that you have to take and that make you mature. I'm young, but in football there is no age and you have to assimilate each situation as best you can."

Finally, on his chances of a permanent move to Valencia in the summer, Gil kept his cards close to his chest.

He said: "I belong to Tottenham and they are the ones who have to decide. It's not up to me. It will depend on the clubs. I'm just a player."