Sandro Tonali makes revealing Newcastle United transfer statement ahead of AC Milan return
Newcastle United midfielder Sandro Tonali faces former club AC Milan just two months after leaving.
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The Italian makes a swift return to the San Siro this evening (kick-off 5:45pm) when the Magpies make their Champions League return following a 20-year absence.
United forked out £52million plus add ons to sign Tonali and the midfielder was open and honest about his struggles when first arriving two months ago.
But the 23-year-old Eddie Howe and his teammates for settling in after the first match, where he starred in the club’s 5-1 opening day win over Aston Villa.
“This summer has been hard and I’ve had a difficult start,” Tonali told reporters. “At the beginning, it was not easy to find my place in Newcastle but people have supported me and still helping me now. Since the first match, I felt at ease. I was happier thanks to the help of Mr Howe and the whole staff.
“They really helped me out in my personal and professional life. My teammates have been amazing, especially with the language! That was very difficult for me. On the pitch, everything changes when you switch from the Italian championship to the Premier League.
“At the beginning I was kind of lost and I received so much help from everybody in every aspect, language, sport and tactics.”
When Tonali completed his transfer to Tyneside, those in Italian media claimed he did not want to leave Milan - his boyhood club - but the Italy international said the decision was his own.
He added: “I remember that the transfer happened while the European Championships was on. Everything happened so quickly. I’ve been lucky to find people who are in love with football and want to help me and the rest of the players.
“It is a wonderful team with wonderful staff. I realised that Newcastle people love what they do. It is two months and I’m seeing the staff working non-stop. You have accept new challenges and be a professional.
“Since the moment I received this offer I was happy because I did my best with AC Milan. I have worked with people that love me and still love me. Before I made a decision, I talked a lot with people that love AC Milan and with people who worked and still work within the club.
“It didn’t happen overnight. I talked about it thoroughly and then I made my final decision.