Tyronne Ebuehi has admitted that he needs to ‘work hard, train well’ to stand a chance of breaking into a quality Benfica starting lineup.
After attempts to get him to sign for the Portuguese giants in the winter broke down, the Eagles returned for the 22-year-old early in the summer, tying him to a five-year deal before he left to play for Nigeria at the World Cup.
Back with the squad in the second phase of their pre-season preparations at their St. George’s Park base in England, Ebuehi, echoing coach Rui Vitoria’s demand of him, said he is keen on working his way into the team.
“The coach told me what he actually wants from me which is to work hard and make myself important for the team,” Ebuehi told reporters on Monday.
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“I have to work hard, train well and we’ll see what happens next. Being in the first team is my main goal, but I have to work hard in training.”
In forcing his way into Vitoria’s plan, the former ADO Den Haag player will have to contend with first-choice right-back André Almeida, who played the most Portuguese Primera Liga games  last season.
And Ebuehi believes the Portugal international will instead make him ‘better’.
“[Almeida] is a good player and will make me better.
“The quality of my teammates is way above my previous club where I played, but it’s what I expected because Benfica is a great club and has a lot of good players,” he added.
On what stands him out, Ebuehi explained: “Speed is one of my weapons. I am strong in defence, good in one by one duels and very strong and fast too.
“For a right-back, I am an offensive player.”
Ebuehi has already made his bow for the Eagles in their 1-1 stalemate with Vitoria Setubal on Friday, coming on as a 72nd-minute substitute for Almeida.
The Dutch-born player will hope to see more action when they square up against Sevilla in another friendly encounter at the Stadion Letzigrund in Zürich on Saturday.