“At the time it didn’t make sense because I still had the possibility of playing for my parent club Newcastle but obviously when this opportunity came around in January, it was in my mind from before. It made it easier for me to make a decision knowing that I wanted from before. I still believe I can become a top player. But obviously I have had obstacles with injuries and the rest, not playing as many games as I can. It has stopped my progress but I feel like this is a perfect platform to re-establish my career, as well as helping Verona as well.
“At the end of the day I’m doing what I love, out there playing football. You’re putting me in a position where we’re trying to fight for our position in Serie A but I’ve been in this situation before with Newcastle in the Premier League. So I’m prepared. I will play wherever the manager puts me. My best role is the one that the manager puts me in. Right now, it’s not about Rolando Aarons, it’s about Verona and what’s best for them. We need to get out of the situation and fight together as a team. I have learned a phrase in Italian ‘Sono pronto’. I am ready. When I play football I always want to win. Us being in this position changes nothing. I like to forget the pressure. I like to play football to win – that’s the most important thing to me.
“I’m very critical of myself. I don’t think I necessarily performed to the best of my abilities. I’m not happy with my performances as yet but I do understand that I’m adapting to a new league, a new championship and it may take time. I think I’m very instinctive player. I like to play without thinking too much: whether it’s dribbling, shooting or running – my qualities are all three of those – but attacking in general is my biggest quality. I feel that I can add quality in the final third. I know the team has struggled to score goals and create a lot of chances this season. My personal goal is to help contribute more to that side of that team as well as help them with everything else. I’m doing extra after training, whether it’s on shooting or movements but we’re working hard defensively and offensively.
“Rafa didn’t say too much about Fabio. He worked under Rafa at Newcastle so I got to know him quite well when he was at Newcastle. I got to know him personally and I already knew his characteristics, what he likes and didn’t like. Rafa didn’t have to tell me, I already knew. Rafa encouraged me to make my own decision. The first impression of the fans is they are very similar to Newcastle fans – they have a lot of passion for their club and are very proud of the club. I’m very happy to be a player for fans like this and I’m ready.”