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Belfodil relishing Inter pressure

Ishak Belofodil insists he will thrive under the pressure of expectation following his big-money move to Inter.

The Algerian-born France youth international striker moved to the San Siro from Parma in a co-ownership deal earlier in June, with Antonio Cassano transferring the other way.

Belfodil admitted he was shocked to have been selected as Cassano’s replacement, but is certain he has the ability to step up to the plate.

He told L’Equipe: “When I saw how much Inter had paid for me, I was so surprised.

“I couldn’t believe that my price-tag was 10 million more than Cassano. I know he had a big contract and his transfer allowed Inter to have extra money to spend, but I’m convinced that he is worth more than me.

“I’m glad of this responsibility, though.”

A number of big-name strikers have joined Serie A already this season with Juventus signing Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez, while Fiorentina have snapped up Germany hot-shot Mario Gomez.

But Belfodil believes he can have the same impact as the more high-profile forwards in the division.

He added: “This year all the big teams have signed first-choice strikers, but it won’t be easy for them because they have the burden of their names.

“But I’m glad to have this responsibility. And then, even if they are big names it is not certain that it will be easier for them.

“Serie A is a difficult tournament, they will have to adapt. And then they will always be kept in the spotlight. However, if you prove your ability, even if you’re young, the big clubs will look at you.

“AC Milan and Juventus, for example, had requested information about me in January.”

The 21-year-old, who scored eight goals in 33 Serie A appearances for Parma last season, also conceded he might not be first choice under Walter Mazzarri immediately, but hopes to force his way into the XI.

“If you stay on the bench, you can not do anything,” Belfodil explained.

“I think that Diego Milito and Rodrigo Palacio will be starting ahead of me, but our performances will decide that.

“I still have to improve many things in my game, anyway.”

Sun 28 July, 2013
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