New Brighton & Hove Albion defender Martin Montoya hailed Maty Ryan’s influence in his move from Valencia.
The Spaniard completed an eye-catching transfer to the Seagulls on deadline day, and explained how the lure of a fresh challenge in England convinced him to leave Spain.
He said, “I wanted something new. I’m going to play in the Premier League in a team who have shown faith in me and were keen to talk to me.
“I spoke to Mat and he said the club and stadium were very good and the team want to play football.
“He said I’d be happy here, I’d adapt quickly and explained that there were a lot of people at the club that spoke Spanish too.”
The full-back reflected on his time at Valencia and spoke about how it was the right time to leave the Mestalla in order to get more minutes on the pitch.
“The first year was a bit difficult because we were in the middle of the table. We wanted to be competing for a European place and it was a hard year with a lot of changes of manager.
“Last year, we did what we set out to do, which was to take the club back up the table. We got into the Champions League, there was more stability and we only had one manager.
“But it was my decision to move on. They signed a full-back, [Cristiano] Piccini, and I was thinking about leaving because I didn’t play away from home very much in the second half of the season.”
Montoya is now relishing the task that lies ahead on the south coast, and explained he is fit and ready to make an impact.
“It’s a different challenge here. We are going to fight to stay up.
“Where I’ve been at Barcelona and Valencia, they are teams who fight to be top.
“It’s a big challenge for me and I’m really happy and looking forward to starting.
“I did pre-season with Valencia, I played in five matches, so I’m prepared.”