NAIROBI, Kenya, February 6 – Harambee Stars midfielder Macdonald Mariga is looking forward to his time at Inter Milan after signing for the Italian giants on Monday.
Mariga who made his debut for the defending Serie A champions on Wednesday during their 1-0 Italian Cup win over Fiorentina said on Friday that he wants to learn a lot from his new coach Jose Mourinho and to make the most of his time at the San Siro.
"I’m very happy to be here. I’am here to learn and I know I can do it with a great coach like Mourinho and with a very strong team like Inter,” said the former Parma and Ulinzi player.
This is a very important experience for me and I’m happy. I’m also happy with my debut, even though I was very excited. I am here to learn from my team-mates, who are all champions. They can teach me a lot. As for my position, I will play wherever the coach wants me to,” he added.
Mariga signed up for Inter after his Sh850 million deal with English Premiership side Manchester City fell through after the British Home Office declined to grant the 22 year old a work permit.
Mourinho expressed his delight with having Mariga within his ranks of world class players and highlighted his attribute as a versatile unit.
"I’m satisfied that he’s with us. I like him as a player, he can’t play in every midfield position like Stankovic (Dejan), but he can play in three. He can’t play behind the strikers but he can play everywhere else in midfield,” said Mourinho.
The former Chelsea manager likened Mariga to his former charge at Stamford Bridge and Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel.
"He’s faster than Mikel but less cerebral," said Mourinho.
"We can’t compare him to Patrick Vieira because Vieira was very experienced. He’s a bit like Sissoko but has an even greater margin of improvement. In any case, he’s a player I like athletically and psychologically. Me and his new team-mates will help him grow," added the former Porto coach.