Pardo: I’m not Illarra’s replacement

Ruben Pardo has distanced himself from comparisons with Asier Illarramendi, as he targets increased playing time at Real Sociedad.

With Illarramendi having departed to Real Madrid in a €39m deal earlier this summer, the expectation has been that Pardo will be handed an increased role in the team as his replacement.

However, the highly rated 20-year-old has reflected that he does not see himself as his former teammate’s immediate substitute.

“While everyone says it, I do not consider myself the replacement for Illarramendi,” Pardo considered this week.

“I am working to try and play every minute possible. I’m young and I want to do my best and try to help La Real as much as I can.

“Last year I did not have the opportunities, but that was under [Philippe] Montanier. Now we have [Jagoba] Arrasate, I want to do my best and I hope to get my chance.”

Pardo played a part in La Real’s preseason defeat to Sporting Lisbon over the weekend.

“The only regret was the result, which was not consistent with the game. I enjoyed the game as, despite a hard week of training and feeling tired, I felt I did well and so did the team.

“We began by playing out from the back, with good movements and passes.

“The Coach has told us that this is still preseason, that we should not look at the result, but how we play and evolve.

“We remain calm, the work has been hard so far, but we have to keep training.”

La Real’s start to the season will include a Champions League play-off round match against an opponent to be determined next week.

“We must try to progress to the competition proper, that would be nice. I know that it will be a tough match, whatever team we face.

“I am excited to see who we play because it is a year that is very important. We look forward to the first competitive match.”

Tags Illarramendi Pardo