Date:Thursday December 8 2005
Albert Luque says he has not settled on Tyneside, hates the training, and is not that struck on the Premiership. Read into that what you will.
According to the Evening Chronicle, Nobby Solano has established a close friendship with United's £9.5m signing from Deportivo La Coruña, Albert Luque. The fans have not seen much of Luque, and we can't expect him to adapt to the English game overnight, but there are concerns how easily the player goes to ground when hardly touched.
This is the Latin way, and you see it every 20 seconds in the Spanish and Italian leagues. But watching the clips of George Best this last week just shows how the game has gone back because of players taking dives when they could so easily head goalward. In one clip, even a tackle from Ron 'Chopper' Harris didn't 'deck' Best as he headed for goal.
Luque has started just three games since his summer move and has struggled to adapt to the pace and physicality of the Premiership on his return to the first-team fold. He doesn't like the physical side of the game, and he looked well out of his depth when the boots were flying at Goodison. Will he adapt? Solano thinks so.
Solano: 'Albert has been very frustrated because he has not been able to show Newcastle United fans what he can do. He has come back into the side, but he has not been fully fit. There was a moment against Wigan when I played him through and he just couldn't get into his stride.
'He was worried about his hamstring, but he is getting stronger and fitter the whole time and each game that comes he will get better and better. He is a wonderful player, a regular Spanish international and I think he can become a star at Newcastle United. He has the ability to be one of the best players in the Premiership.
'I know it has been tough for him because I've done the same thing. He has come to a new club, in a new country and that is a very difficult thing to do. It is even more difficult to do when you're injured.
'Obviously I speak Spanish and so does he so I talk to him a lot. I am trying to help him settle as much as I can and he is happy to be at Newcastle United. He just wants to be able to show what he is capable of. It's the worst thing for a footballer when you join a new club and pick up an injury straight away.
'It took me a while to settle into English football when I came over from South America. It's a different culture, a different mentality and it takes time to adjust to it all. I have told him it will be a lot quicker and a lot more physical than the Spanish league and I think he realises that now. I've also pointed out to him that it often takes a bit of time for Spanish players to adapt. Look at (Jose Antonio) Reyes at Arsenal, but now he is a regular in the side and playing well.'
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