French midfielder Sofiane Feghouli is confident he can break into Valencia’s first team this season.
The 21-year-old only made three appearances for Los Che last term before being loaned to Almeria to gain playing time. The former Grenoble man believes he is ready to now challenge for a first-team slot at Mestalla in light of a positive pre-season.
The player revealed Unai Emery has told him to continue with the work and effort shown so far, indicative of the Coach’s growing faith in the youngster, also shown in his regular use through pre-season: “I’m doing well and hope it stays that way. Valencia has many quality players and whilst Joaquin [Sanchez] may be gone there are others such as [Pablo] Piatti, [Juan] Mata and Pablo [Hernandez]. I know I’m competing with many players, but I can adapt to different positions.”
Asked of where that contribution to the team will come on the pitch, the player replied: “As a youth I played mainly in central midfield and on the right wing, and as a professional I remain confident in both positions. I love being in contact with the ball.”
Feghouli is set to take the No 8 shirt for 2011-12, has played in all six pre-season games so far, and is currently preparing with the team for Friday’s interesting friendly with Roma, before Els Taronja face his former side Almeria on Sunday. Valencia start the season in Pamplona, away to Osasuna on Saturday August 20, allocated the 10pm kick-off slot, before their first home game of the season sees them welcome Racing Santander the following Saturday at 8pm.