Interviews

Zeqiri: First Albion training session wiped me out

The Swiss striker has spoken in-depth about how he has settled into life with Albion.

By Charlie Hanson • 13 January 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Andi Zeqiri has enjoyed his time on the south coast since his arrival in October.

Andi Zeqiri has revealed how giant a jump joining Albion from the Swiss second division has been.

The October arrival from Lausanne-Sport took time to settle in as he adjusted to the demands of training for a Premier League club.

“I got home and went straight to sleep after my first training session!” he said.

“There is a huge change in expectation from what I was used to. I was in the second division in Switzerland before I arrived at Brighton, but I knew what to expect at this level because the Premier League is one of the best in the world.

By Paul Hazlewood
The Swiss Under-21 international made his Premier League debut in December.

“I already had the opportunity to see the level when I was part of the Juventus youth team three years ago and I trained with the first team. To me they were very similar."

The 21-year-old was scouted by several clubs across Europe after netting 22 goals in 37 appearances last season for Lausanne, but a conversation with Graham Potter convinced him Sussex was the place to be.

“I had finished the season with Lausanne where we ended up as champions, and I was approached by quite a few clubs.

“What convinced me to join Brighton was the contact I had with the coach and his ambition for me and the club.

“I know that we will achieve lots of great things here and I want to give my best performance every moment that I am on the pitch.”

Since Zeqiri's arrival, his fellow French speakers in the squad have taken him under their wing.

By Bennett Dean
The forward played the full second half in the 3-3 draw with Wolves.

“Neal Maupay, Yves Bissouma and Leandro Trossard speak French and I have had the opportunity to get to know them.

“All three of them were very welcoming, they are now good mates.

“Yves makes me laugh a lot. He’s someone that I can talk to and all three of the guys are young so they are a bit like me and they like to have a laugh.

“Neal is a bit more serious. He is funny but he also works hard and he's very professional. It's these sorts of role models that can help me progress.”

While the Covid pandemic means the Switzerland Under-21 international hasn't played in front of a packed Amex, he still feels a part of the Albion family.

By Bennett Dean
Andi Zeqiri was certainly pleased with Lewis Dunk's strike against Wolves.

“As soon as I arrived I felt part of a big family here in Brighton. Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to see everyone in the stadium yet but I look forward to that day.

“I want to do my best and to make everyone proud because it's the fans who support and keep us going every game. It's very important for a football player and I am very grateful.

“I have been very warmly welcomed and I am very grateful to the club for integrating me so well. I hope to give my best during my time here.”

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