Atletico Madrid playmaker Rodrigo Riquelme credits his loan spell with Bournemouth as the springboard for his development in the professional ranks.
Atlético Madrid game leader Rodrigo Riquelme revealed that he considers his loan period to Bournemouth as the most important step in his career.
The 22-year-old is currently enjoying his first extended La Liga experience while on loan with the newly promoted Girona.
The creative midfielder has secured five starts in the Spanish top flight for a side that currently occupy a mid-table spot.
However, Riquelme’s passage through the professional ranks has not always been so encouraging, especially after a year in the Championship with Bournemouth.
Riquelme, now a regular in Spain’s Under-21s, has played just 326 minutes in 16 appearances, with just two of his outings coming from the starting lineup.
After making two outings for Atletico in 2019-20, the experience was seen as a downhill for a player who holds out hope of eventually making an impression at Wanda Metropolitano.
Nonetheless, Riquelme has nothing but positive things to say about his time at Vitality Stadium, indicating that it gave him the extra motivation he needed before heading back to his homeland.
Talk to MarkRiquelme said: “These are short stages, but I think they are the right ones. My time at Bournemouth has helped me not so much on a footballing level as on a personal and mental level.
“A lot of things I do today, the automations I have for training, guidelines, food, are things I picked up there.”
He added: “You get a reality check. You watch real football. There was a great team there with [Arnaut] Danjouma, [Dominic] Solanke, More accomplished than me.
“I learned a lot. Positive things come out of all the not-so-good times, and you have to feed on that too.”
Riquelme, who has a contract at Atletico until 2028, also enjoyed a productive spell at the second tier with Mirandes in 2021-22.