Denis Cheyshev insists he is now ready to fight for a first-team spot with Villarreal after his recent spell on the sidelines.
The 26-year-old joined the Yellow Submarine for a reported €7m from Real Madrid in the summer, yet a thigh injury has restricted his first team appearances to just three league games this term.
However, the Russian winger says he is on the road to recovery after coming on as a substitute in the win at Girona last weekend, and is hoping he can play a part in Thursday’s Europa League clash with Slavia Prague.
“I felt good against Girona and every minute I am on the pitch helps me, so that’s good,” he told Villarreal’s official website.
“I’m fine. And besides, the team is doing well now and that makes everything easier and better. I was available but it’s true that physically I wasn’t quite right and not 100 per cent after so much time out.
“But I am hoping to start against Slavia, although that is a decision for the Coach, but he knows I can play in several positions and will do whatever he asks of me.
“I think the Europa League is very exciting. This club places a lot of importance on it and the players think the same.
“It’s a key game and if we win we would go to the top of the group and have a great chance of qualifying.”
Cheryshev also commented on his chances of playing in next summers’ World Cup, which will be held in his home country.
“I’m not thinking about that right now but it’s a dream for any player to play in the finals. I’ve not been with the national team for a long time because I’ve been injured.
“What I need to do is concentrate on my club and do things well here. If I do things right then I’ll have a chance to go to the World Cup,” he concluded.