Alberto playing the waiting game
Liverpool midfielder Luis Alberto is prepared to be patient as he awaits his first-team chance.
The 21-year-old arrived from Sevilla for a fee approaching £7million in the summer but has managed just 76 minutes of Barclays Premier League action over five appearances.
He admits English football is faster and more physical than what he has been used to and he has spent the last couple of months trying to bulk up a bit more.
While he has been used sparingly by manager Brendan Rodgers, Alberto is seen as a long-term prospect and gave a hint of his talent with an Anfield hat-trick playing for the Under-21s against Sunderland in September.
"I would like to play more, I am waiting for my chances. The truth is I need to play more and I hope to do it," said the Spaniard.
"I want to play but there are many colleagues that are working well.
"I have to wait for the manager to start having confidence in me and (then) repay his confidence on the pitch.
"I have been working a few months and I have learned and I am going to wait for my moment.
"I have discovered it is faster football, more physical, and you have to be in better physical condition.
"I have improved in many aspects: my physique is better and I am heavier now - these details contribute to better preparation."
Alberto is taking some inspiration from Brazilian team-mate Philippe Coutinho, just three months older than him, who has had an instant impact having arrived in January.
Coutinho has more experience in having played in three different countries - he left his homeland for Inter Milan and spent half a season on loan at Espanyol - but has adapted almost seamlessly without having to compromise physically.
"I admire Philippe and we get on well on and off the pitch," Alberto told LFC TV.
"He can be one of the people who are an example for me. I look at many people as an example.
"Not only Philippe but various others have said I need to be patient and work well and it will happen.
"When it arrives, then I have to show that I am good enough for Liverpool."
One thing Alberto has noticed is the competitiveness of the Barclays Premier League compared with his homeland.
"It is a pity it is not like this in Spain," he said.
"But there are teams who fight for fourth or fifth and I experienced it with Seville for two and a bit years.
"Here the league is much nicer and the fans must be enjoying it quite a lot.
"I think we cannot underestimate any Premier League team."