West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna heaped praise on Manchester United star Anthony Martial as he reflected on his first six months in a “crazy” Premier League.
The defender joined Slaven Bilic’s team from Juventus in the close-season and has made 10 league appearances, with a hamstring injury briefly interrupting his early progress with the club.
Ogbonna played against United in West Ham’s 0-0 draw at Old Trafford earlier this month and he has spoken positively about striker Martial.
Asked who the biggest surprise has been since his move to England, he told Gazzetta dello Sport: “Manchester United’s Anthony Martial, he has an amazing personality.
“It is not easy to come over here at just 19 years old and put on the shirt of a club like United and break through straight away.
“Wayne Rooney also represents English football, whilst Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain impresses me a lot – he is a complete talent and it surprises me that Arsene Wenger doesn’t use him more.”
Ogbonna, 27, admitted the hectic pace of Premier League football has been the biggest change to get used to after switching from Serie A.
He said: “There is a big difference in terms of the pace of the game between the Premier League and Serie A.
“Here you have to run non-stop and the intensity of the game is crazy, nobody gives up.”
Ogbonna also paid tribute to West Ham’s supporters, comparing them to the close bond felt by fans and players at old club Torino.
“The club is something special for all of its fans,” he continued. “It is not just a football club, it is much more.
“There is a relationship with the supporters that just overwhelms all of the players and in that respect it is very similar
“I am satisfied [with my first six months] but not content with how I have been physically. I started well but then the injury cut down my playing time, keeping me out for weeks. Now I have started to play again, so I can’t really complain.”