Borja Bastón spoke to Diario AS after completing a loan move from Swansea City to Málaga.
Swansea 'not what I had hoped for'
Was it a difficult experience at Swansea?
It was not what I had hoped for. I was really excited to go there after the seasons I had in Spain. I arrived as the most expensive signing in Swansea’s history (€18m), and at no point did they give me the chance to show what I could do. Right now, I’m keen to feel important to a team again and have a good season.
How did you find living in Swansea?
The life is very different. Spain has good weather and excellent food. The timings are very different. But I think it was a great experience, and I learnt a lot. I don’t regret it.
Swansea are a team with a big Spanish contingent…
Swansea have always had a Spanish tradition. The people of Swansea treated me really well, the fans were great with me, and my team-mates were 10/10.
Bob Bradley 'drove the team mad'
Why did it go wrong in South Wales?
I arrived with an arm injury that I had picked up at Atlético, and just when I was recovering I had a small problem with my quadriceps. I recovered from that and was able to play a couple of games, but then they [Swansea] fired the manager who had brought me in (Francesco Guidolin).
It was difficult after that because the manager who came in (Bob Bradley) drove the team mad. He made lots of changes and we didn’t know what we were trying to do. In the end, with the arrival of Paul Clement, the team settled and we managed to stay up.
You have a contract at Swansea until 2020. Your loan deal at Málaga includes the option to buy for €12m. What are your plans?
I intend to give my all for Málaga, have a good season, and help the team finish as high as possible. That is my objective. I don’t have more future aims, I think about the present.
What are your best memories in football?
The years at Zaragoza and Eibar were great for me, both on and off the pitch. I made good friends during that time, and things went really well for me. I enjoyed it a lot.
Would you like to return to Atlético one day?
I don’t rule anything out because I’ve always been an Atlético fan, and of course I’d like to return. But I’m really happy and focusing on Málaga.
A Málaga side in transition
What was your first contact with Málaga?
I spoke with Arnau (the sporting director) via text. I was interested in leaving Swansea and I had various options. The first contact with Málaga came at the start of the summer. The club showed faith in me, and it was straightforward because both parties wanted the deal done.
At the end of the day problems always arise because of questions of money and all the rest, and they’re not easy. There were also footballing complications, as Swansea didn’t want to let me go so easily. Luckily I’m now here and I hope to have a good year.
What stands out about this Málaga side?
The group is really good. We all try to help each other, and we’re getting to know one another. It’s a lovely part of pre-season. A lot of players have left the club, and a lot of us have arrived too, we need to get to know how everyone moves on the pitch and adapt.
It is a much-changed Málaga. Camacho, Fornals, Sandro have gone… they have been important players. If anyone else arrives, then welcome to them, but those of us that are here believe we can face up well, and that’s what we’ll do.
How do you find Míchel?
He’s a very direct person who tells you what he is thinking, and tries to help you so you can add more to the group.