Izquierdo motivated to keep improving

Jose Izquierdo. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Jose Izquierdo. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Jose Izquierdo believes he is improving all the time in the Premier League after a difficult start with Brighton.

The Colombian winger has quickly become a fans' favourite on the South Coast but he admitted it took a little bit of time to get used to the top flight in England after joining from Club Brugge in Belgium.

Izquierdo has always watched the Premier League on television but admitted playing in one of the best leagues in the world has been 'a season of change for him'.

He joined Albion for £13.5m in August and said: "When you come here, you have some expectations of the Premier League because you watch it on TV.

"But the thing you watch on the TV to how you live it in the real life is not comparable. It's a very hard league and it shows you where you are.

"You have to work every day, you have to improve every day because you are at a top level and you have to show it each week.

"I changed everything to come here and start a new journey. A lot of people didn’t know me and how I played. My team-mates didn’t know how I moved on the pitch.

“So it was a difficult start at the beginning - the change from a normal league to the Premier League, which is one of the top leagues in the world.

“It was a very difficult change, but when you have resilience, you can work hard to improve a situation. That gave me motivation to keep working every day."

Asked how he has improved as a player, Izquierdo said: "I'm becoming a different player. I'm learning a lot from my team mates, from the club, from the gaffer, the coach and also when you play against the bigger clubs like Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United, you learn from that.

"That is the experience you need to make yourself a better player and a better person."

Izquierdo recently earned two more Colombia caps, coming on as a late substitute in matches with France and Australia last month, and he hopes his season is extended with a place in the World Cup squad.

The 25-year-old said: "It's a motivation to be fit for Brighton and also for the World Cup.

"I know it's very difficult to be in the World Cup. For a long time, players have been in the national team and they already have unity and are a family but the players that go to the World Cup are the players that are in the best moment.

"I'll work every day to be fit for the moment the coach gives the call to the national team."