Exclusive: Graziano Pelle Happy With Life In Alkmaar

Italian striker Graziano Pelle has spoken to Goal.com about his personal development at Eredivisie outfit AZ...
Alkmaar outfit AZ signed Graziano Pelle from Lecce for a record fee of €6 million back in 2007. Nevertheless, the talented youngster failed to live up to the high expectations and has mainly been warming the bench ever since.

Pelle faces stiff competition from Moussa Dembele, Mounir el Hamdaoui and Ari for a spot in the starting XI, but manager Louis van Gaal still opted to start with the Italian forward in the league match against Groningen last weekend.

The 23-year-old proved his manager right and scored an impressive brace to help his side on their way to a 3-0 win. Pelle reacted with delight to his superb display and made it clear that he doesn't intend to lose his spot in the starting XI again.

"It was a tough period for me warming the bench. I've waited for my chance for a long time and I'm happy that everything went good in the match against Groningen," said Pelle to Goal.com.

"I've developed into a better player in the past two years. I gained some weight and I'm much stronger on the ball now. I'm very happy at AZ and I hope I can keep up my good form in the rest of this campaign.

"We need to win every match, since we're topping the table. The fans would be extremely upset to see us lose. However, everybody can deal with the pressure very well and I think we will win the title."

Stefan Coerts, Goal.com